09 May 2014

The Quiet War in South Sudan Causes Levison Wood to Leave Off His Nile Walk

South Sudan is in the grips of war. Do we know this from the news? Not really. Maybe if you go searching. I heard about in relation to explorer Levison Wood. He is the man who is walking the length of the Nile from its origins in the Great Lakes region. The 4250 mile walk is no joke - Western explorers in the last two centuries attempted expeditions to the Nile basin often met with disease, death, and tragedy. The explorer has met with quite a host of intense obstacles. Journalist Mathew Power, who was covering the walk in Uganda, died of reported heat exhaustion in mid-March.

Levison has gotten as far as South Sudan. However, the violence and instability in the fledgling country has forced him off-route. Hopefully this brings more attention to what is actually happening to people in South Sudan. This sounds like a massacre that the international community is ignoring. Similar to what has been happening in Central African Republic. Why does this activity get so little media attention????


Nile adventurer Levison Wood forced to abandon part of his route after walking into a war zone

By The Sentinel  |  Posted: May 09, 2014
By RICHARD AULT

  • HORRORS: The scene at Bor.
  • Captain Levison Wood with a rescued Vervet Monkey.
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FORMER paratrooper Captain Levison Wood has had to abandon part of the route on his bid to walk the entire length of the Nile – after he waded into a war zone.
The 31-year-old embarked on his epic journey in December so he could become the first recorded person to walk 4,250 miles from the river's source in Rwanda to Egypt where it meets the sea.
Since then, he has already covered more than 1,200 miles and navigated through three central African countries.
Levison, who comes from Forsbrook, has already been robbed and hunted by poachers, has suffered near starvation and has had to cope the tragic death of a colleague.

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Now his journey has come to a halt in South Sudan, where he has been forced to abandon 450 miles of the route.
His 61-year-old father, Levison Wood Snr, from Forsbrook, said: "He's been on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan and has never seen anything like this.
"He was there when they were killing people, it was quite traumatic. He's had no choice but to abandon that part of the trek."
South Sudan, which only came into existence in July 2011, has been thrown into chaos by a long-running civil conflict between two tribes, the Dinka, who hold power of government, and the Neur.
Writing in a journal he is keeping of his expedition, Captain Wood said: "Upon our arrival in Bor, I knew I was in a war zone. I was apprehended and arrested by a heavily armed 'soldier'.
"Taken before the governor's representatives, the local commander told me politely, but in no uncertain terms, now was not a good time to be in Bor and my presence was not welcome.
"The town itself has been destroyed by the war. In the outskirts, entire villages had been burnt to the ground, looted and abandoned. Destroyed tanks littered the side of the road like rusting hulks and the smell of death and decay is everywhere. Mass graves had been the only way to bury those killed, and a weeping lay preacher showed me where 17 members of the clergy had been murdered.
"At dusk, I witnessed at firsthand the battle of Bor. The sky was suddenly lit up by tracer fire, heavy machine guns rattled in the streets and the dull thump of mortar rounds shook the ground. Reports detailed around 60 people had been shot and hacked to death during the attack.
"It was plainly obvious any attempt to continue my journey further north would be foolish and stupid. My two nights in that hellish place was enough for me."


Read more: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Nile-adventurer-Levison-Wood-forced-abandon-route/story-21078067-detail/story.html#AV7BVG6gsDVkRptq.99#ixzz31HRVdqo3

Read more at http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Nile-adventurer-Levison-Wood-forced-abandon-route/story-21078067-detail/story.html#DmH3zSS52h4fM9rj.99