Sudanese Warlord gets confrontational
I dropped Nhabhutu off a little early today, to visit with her dad. It wasn’t a planned thing, he just happened to be there with a piece of paper in his hand.
Without saying anything, he says that the visits are scheduled to 5;30 and not 5;00 as we had been doing for three months. I looked at the seal, the signatures and saw that it was a court order.
I said that we had been accommodating him for three months and if he wanted to be a stickler for details, then I could take Nhabhutu for a drive for ten minutes until the supervisor showed up.
Well kids, that’s when the conversation got a little heated. He said “You take my daughter away?” I said we would be back in ten minutes, as per the court order. I said we need to stick to details. He called his bodyguard, Timbo, from where he was standing and clutched Nhabhutu into his arms.
He asked little Nut-Nut right there, if she wanted to go in the truck with me. Of course, the poor little girl said ‘no” and the warlord said, Timbo, you hear?” to which Timbo replied” I heard something.”
My collar got as little hot as we have been taking care of his daughter for three months, have bent our schedules all out of shape for her, and he goes and pisses on the parade. “If you want to be a stickler”, I said, “I can be too.” I mentioned our trip camping this year we had to drive Nut-Nut into town twice in order to accommodate him. He said it was “her” visit and not his. I felt bad for Timbo, to have to hear this, but really, I felt for Nhabhutu that she had to be used in such as fashion.
We bantered for a minute or so and then the supervisor showed up to which I immediately said; ”There’s been a change of plans”. Nkatigo (The warlord) said that there wasn’t a change, but what was supposed to happen. The poor girl was as flustered as I was.
I told him as I was leaving, that he needed to have Nhabhutu ready by 5:30, not 5:35. He said he would. But then I thought about it and realized that I hadn’t been very Christ like. In fact, I acted poorly. While I did not swear or jump up and down, my behaviour was less than stellar. I apologized to Nkatigo and he accepted the apology by slipping some skin.
Of course, I called the consulate, to tell them of the incident and was told that the visit would indeed, conclude at 5:00, not 5:30 and that an official would be on hand to see that it took place.
The point of the story is twofold. One, being a Christian doesn’t mean we are perfect. We get mad and sometimes act very un-Christ-like. The second is that being a foster parent to a child, in our case, a troubled child is no cake walk.
The ministry has a very hard job and a very tight wire that they walk. I realize know just how much they do care for the welfare of the child. I realize that the world is a very different place now than it was three months ago, when Nhabhutu joined our home.
One more week and she is reunited with her mother. One more week to try to make a difference.
- War Crimes Court to Rule on Warlord’s Release (nytimes.com)
- Warlords Evoke Tarantino, Mar Afghan Security (businessweek.com)