43. chapter – The journey to Sibut

5 mins read

Short after 6AM the battlegroup was on the move. I was excited and didn’t know where to look, because I wanted to see everything. The landscape, the lifestyle and even the scent of the air were was different in Africa. We went through of a marketplace where merchant were selling their goods. Mostly old phones, fake Ray Ban glasses, fruits, vegetables and a bit further I saw some strange black forms on the tables I couldn’t identify.

The African market

Twenty minutes later, we stopped on the outskirts of Bangui, not too far from the place where a group from our platoon was working on a combat post. The platoon chief got out of the car and went to speak with the captain of the infantry company. I stayed next to the vehicle, followed the conversation on the radio and discovered what the strange black things were on the tables.

Flies on pieces of meat

When I was looking in the market’s direction, the merchant sent off the flies with a rapid movement of his hand and I saw a bunch of half-rotten meat before him. I instantly got a heavy nausea.  Even when I realized what I saw, it was hard to believe that someone would actually eat that thing. When our commandment told us that it’s formally forbidden to buy meat from the Africans, I didn’t really care. It never actually came in my mind to buy meat from them. My first thought was when I heard the order that it’s just another stupid rule to break our balls. I was wrong.

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The platoon chief came back

and told me that an infantry team found some used rockets next to a small house. The lieutenant sent a team to check the area, so the whole battlegroup was standing by behind us. We couldn’t allow us to lose too much time, because the combat team was supposed to arrive to a village, called Sibut, in the afternoon 180km further in the north.

The sergeant reported that he found munitions and three UXOs (Unexploded ordnance) not too far from our position. It wasn’t something extremely serious, but according to the procedure, they had to secure the zone and call the EOD team from the FOB.

A half an hour later

we were on the move again for twenty minutes when someone announced on the radio that he lost a wheel. I thought that I misunderstood something, but the platoon chief confirmed the accident. I got out of the vehicle and had largely enough time to check my jeep. Once I finished I got back in the car and talked with the platoon chief when

A team leader from the end of the convoy announced that a car is passing next to us with a cadaver on its roof.

He didn’t see weapons, but the leader of the combat team ordered to stop the vehicle. I moved the jeep in the middle of the road to block the passage and waited for the car arriving.

An infantry group behind us intercepted the vehicle

They confirmed the dead body on the roof, but left them to continue their journey, because they didn’t possess any weapon. I found a bit weird that people in any country are just transporting cadavers on their vehicle.

I just repositioned the jeep in the convoy, when I saw the car passing next to us. That wasn’t just some ordinary dead person, but his skin was almost totally peeled off. I turned to my platoon chief to ask him if he saw it and he just said:

Welcome to Central Africa

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