Monday, August 01, 2011

Great tempest today, this was minutes before the storm hit…

I should inform you that there was a friendly email from Nick Griffith, the British Ambassador to Mali this afternoon, apologizing that my messages had got lost and congratulating me on the British Library manuscript project in Djenne. He says that there won’t be anyone coming from the Embassy for the opening ceremony however, because they are still advising British people from travelling in this area. I knew this would be the case. It is too infuriating and has no reasonable connection to any real threat. But to be fair that is perhaps not the fault of this ambassador. I suppose he can only follow the advice of the Foreign Office?


Blogger Richard Trillo said...

Hi Sophie.

Long time! Very glad to catch up with you again.

This seems poor show to me. Surely the Foreign Office advice is provided by the FCO's locally based diplomats, in this case Nick Griffiths. Okay, there may be a bit of political spin (in the case of Mali I'd say there's a lot to account for all that read no-go area on the map, though they might deny any), but that is the basic story - local advice provided by the men and women on the ground.

I'd be interested to know how many European residents you think there are in Djenné.

6:45 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Dear Richard,
I am the only
toubab in Djenne, and has been as long as I have lived here- nearly six yesrs.
As far as the British Embassy goes, and British Diplomat(s?) here, I am with you. I have thought about it and revised my opinion. The British Diplomat(s) here are supposed to engender the British Foreign Policy,you are dead right!That is presumably what the British public is paying them for!
I have no idea what the problem is here- I wrote a response to Nick Grifrfith's email to me, and got an automated response back, saying:
Now, before going ballistic on my blog and accusing the British Embassy here of being total frauds, I shall visit the Embassy in Bamako next week. Let's see if there is indeed an Embassy!

8:28 PM  
Blogger Richard Trillo said...

That will be interesting Sophie. I understand, the British Embassy is essentially a desk inside the Canadian Embassy. They certainly share the same address -

Embassy of Canada
Koulikoro Street
Séméga Building
District II
Bamako, Mali

British Embassy, Mali
Immeuble Semega,
Koulikoro Road,
PO Box 2069,
Bamako, Mali

Anyway, bon voyage. Report back to us all!

9:34 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

I will report back!
I will take the opportunity of hand delivering a copy of my attack on the Foreign Office's Travel Advice to this illusive British Embassy, if I can find anyone there...

2:38 PM  

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