Anglo-Kenyan civilian war correspondent in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda, 1988-1995
REEL 1 Aspects of family and educational background. Aspects of life in Africa and education in UK. Recollections of period as journalist: work as stringer for various newspapers; situation in Africa by late 1980s; hopes for New World Order; reporting on activity of ANC <African National Congress> and PNC <Pan African Congress> in Tanzania; move to Nairobi, 6/1989; witnessing Khartoum coup, 7/1989; brutality of East African conflict, 1989/1990s; joining Reuters; interest in conflict in Horn of Africa; method of gathering news; conflict in Ethiopia; destruction of Mengistu's army.
REEL 2 Continues: sight of ammunition, weaponry and vehicles; causes of famine; explosion in booby-trapped ammunition dump, 27/5/1991; visit to Mengistu's palace; influence of Soviet Union on Mengistu regime; destruction of statue of Lenin; move to Somalia; situation in Somalia, 1991; brutality of Somalian civil war, 1991/1992; formation of UNOSOM I and attempts to broker peace; beginning of famine; belief that Somalia was neglected by outside world; failure of UN in Somalia; beginning of Operation Restore Hope; reaction of Somalis to arrival of US troops; takeover by UNISOM II, 5/1993 and ambitious mandate; move to Balkans; resources available to journalists in Africa and Balkans; attitude towards covering Balkan conflict; reaction to hearing of murder of three friends/colleagues in Somalia; return to Somalia.
REEL 3 Continues: massacre of Somali elders by US troops; killing of his three friends/colleagues in retaliation; attitude towards behaviour of UN and US troops; alienation of Somalis by UN/US; action by US Black Hawk Ranger helicopters and treatment of American dead bodies, 3/10/1993; mishandling of situation by UNISOM II and US; final US withdrawal from Somalia, 1995; receiving news of death of Rwandan Prime Minister Habyarimana; previous coverage of conflict in Rwanda; arrival at Rwandan Patriotic Front <RPF> HQ, Rwanda; witnessing burning villages and distressed villagers on walk into Kigali with RPF; sight of dead woman on steps of church; gradual realisation of scale of genocide; setting up of RPF base in parliament building; situation of UNIMIR.
REEL 4 Continues: evacuation of Belgian and Bangladeshi troops; covering peace talks in Arusha; domination of news by Mandela's election in South Africa; move to East Rwanda; exodus of Hutus from Rwanda; question of collective guilt; sight of dead bodies choking river leading to Victoria Falls; US stance regarding Rwanda; sight of masses of dead bodies; mass graves; sight of church full of dead bodies; attempts of UNMIR troops to help Tutsis, Kigali; conditions in Meridien Hotel; living conditions in nearby seminary; lack of support (particularly American) for UNIMIR; attitude towards work of British in Rwanda; exodus of Hutus to Goma camp; conditions in camp; description of Operation Turquoise; influx of journalists by 7/1994; involvement of RPF in violence in Central Africa; belief that genocide could happen again in Africa; lack on international interest in Africa.
REEL 5 Continues: need of West to deal with problems in Africa; belief that root causes of conflict are not being deal with; resource based wars including Sudan, Angola and Congo; frustration when working as conflict analyst for a Brussels think-tank; unfinished nature of Balkans conflict; need for new treaty between Africa and the West; belief that poverty and institutional weakness drives conflict in Africa; relatively pro-Western attitude in sub Saharan Africa; impact of 11/9/2001 New York attack on relations between Africa and West; legacy of colonialism in Africa; fragmented nature of African society; belief that more conflicts will occur in Africa.
REEL 6 Continues: possible causes for future wars in Africa; attitude towards work as journalist; impact of Rwandan experience on him and decision to give up war reporting; writing books on experience of African conflicts and on 'Mad Mullah' in Somaliland; attitude towards media; plans to set up website giving independent view of African news; attitude towards work of NGOs in Africa and West's African policies; passion for Africa; reasons for giving up work as war correspondent; impact of deaths of friends and colleagues on his life; increased danger for news reporters.