The beauty of this country is impossible to understate as it is very easy to find oneself enraptured by the surrounding tranquility. Light sparkles and glints as it breaks through the tree branches, and reflects off the surfaces of the numerous shantytowns dotting the countryside. Local residents have expressed their dismay to reporters as they ran for their lives from explosive gunfights that have left entire villages destroyed and burning.
Due to recent drought conditions, fire is as much a danger as the Jackal
Mr. Sarreaghetti would certainly know. He is used to seeing people succumb to malaria. The influx of violence has changed all of that. The sounds of crickets and indigenous wildlife is now interwoven with the echoes of gunfire and explosions, some uncomfortably close to his front door. He spoke at length of the need for peace, pleading so desperately that his words ran together as though he were speaking without punctuation.
Most of the remaining locals are as equally pressured as Mr. Sarreaghetti. The people who would discuss the nature of the brewing civil war spoke with relentless speed and never slowed down. The pressures brought about by the Jackal and the shadowy mercenaries appear to have pushed the national psyche to the very brink of cracking. No one is able to control themselves, and despite their eloquence and conviction, they remain a populace genuinely terrified of their futures.
Running through the jungle and moving about the countryside on foot is one of the better, if not easier, ways to travel. With vehicle scarcity approaching the level of endangered animals, it is often prudent for those looking to find every nook and cranny to wander by foot. Even so, people may find themselves under constant attack by warring factions who frequently mistake travelers as a member of the opposing party. This has resulted in several gun battles instigated by a simple misunderstanding, and that leaves people scrambling for cover as they work to return fire.
Driving through the countryside is more difficult than many could imagine. Sources commented on the rampaging factions who travel across the “roads,” a term locals sneer at considering they are simply dirt paths cut through the bush, and how it appears that wherever they go someone is attacked. This puts increasing pressure on the taxi drivers in particular, who say they are unable to outrun the danger.
“It was really bad last week,” recalled Mr. Aghadhamsi. “I like my cab as it opens to the sky but that almost got me killed. I was talking to my customer and then we both ducked as we heard bullets miss our hairlines by this much. All around us the jungle exploded. The bullets hit my car but did not damage my GPS tracker thank God. I hurried as fast as I could out of there and made it to the nearest town alive. My customer unfortunately was not.
“It was difficult to maneuver under such intense fire but I managed to keep control of my vehicle just barely. But who will pay to have it fixed now that it is all shot up? I will is the answer. This country is dying all around us. I was able to make it on foot to the local church where I watched mercenaries arm themselves before heading into the jungle. They seemed to switch rapidly between different weapons with such practiced ease.
“I hope they are hunting the Jackal and mount him on a wall.”
With local authorities having little power to stem the escalating violence, it has fallen on individuals to help themselves. Incoming mercenaries have been reported to find work by approaching these individuals who have in turn requested services. What exactly these services entail is open for debate, but rumors of assassinations, document smuggling, destruction of rival arms shipments and more swirl about the countryside. It increasingly appears that whatever these mercenaries want to do in this country, no one is able to stop them. With such a wide variety of needs, anyone looking for even the most creative forms of work can find it here.
Previous embargos levied against African exports have resulted in an explosion of smuggling of African conflict diamonds. Several small planes have been reported missed and local authorities insist that while GPS trackers have on occasion detected locations of these missing diamonds, that discoveries of this nature be reported immediately.
Communication towers have also been discovered to have been tampered with. Eavesdropping on in-country communications is big business for shadow parties looking to exploit their enemies and it appears that certain elements have moved to intercept information that could provide the location of party leaders or weapons convoys.
With the influx of so many mercenaries and various factions to the region, it goes with out saying that additional maps are required. New arrivals can quite easily map out new areas and have been quick to share them with others. Even the most basic cartography allows for construction of these maps and anyone traveling to this part of the world would do well to avail themselves of these maps. The validity of these maps have been questioned by some, but others have confirmed that with some careful study and experience with these maps that all information marked on them is sound.
Reports have recently surfaced of mercenaries engaging both the UFLL and the APR, even at the same time. This has only added fuel to a raging fire leading many international leaders to openly question whether further sanctions should be levied. Already the infrastructure of the country has collapsed, with only small cars and jeeps available to the populace. A small bus network remains operational but for how long is the question many locals are asking.
“It may not be the safest journey to take but I always can get from one end of this country to the other quickly by taking the bus,” said a man who would only identify himself as Okeanaddo. “It is quick and easy to travel in this way otherwise you might be killed somewhere along the roads especially at night.
“These are most dangerous times for my country. I hope and pray every day that some one stops this Jackal and soon. We cannot survive for much longer.”
International relief efforts have reported frustration with the UN who refuses to allow entry into the country. Already an underground has formed to bring in much needed supplies such as medicine and food. The value brought to the region is extremely high here, as locals are grateful for any assistance provided.
With so many things to do and see in this region, it is impossible to imagine anyone wanting to ever leave. But with a brewing civil war looming over the heads of everyone, the extent of their survival sits precariously on a razor