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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 9 Sep 2009
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biggest tragedy of the Sahara

So I would like to tell you a story about one of the biggest tragedies of the entire Eastern Sahara were hundreds or even thousands of refugees left the Kufra Oasis escaping from the Italian forces that were closing in on them from 3 different sides. Here men, women and children escaped into the desert unprepared. Some of them stayed up to 2 till 3 months in the desert until they were saved or they died. We have only very few accounts on that tragedy. Patrick Clayton an Inspector of the desert Survey of Egypt has been by accident in that area as he was making a traverse from Wadi Halfa to the Gebel Uweinat and to the North to the Gilf Kebir as he came alone the first refugees in January 1931. He didn’t know the whole scale of that refugee tragedy but he helped were he could and he saved several people from the sure death. Another account came from the Hungarian Count Almàsy, who was at that time not in Egypt but he wrote years later a story from that tragedy. Also 3 persons managed to reach the first Oasis of the Dakhla Group the Oasis of Tenida after covering a distance more than 1000 kilometres on foot. Here the police started a bigger rescue operation with the few cars available in the oasis and with the camels. They saved nearly 200 lives others they had to bury. Like the grave we came along some years ago where the poor fellow just died few kilometres away from Dakhla. Look at the attachment you will see the shoes

The amassing thing about that is that the complete shoes looked pretty good after covering a distance at least of 1000 kilometres through the bare desert. Some shoes nowaday would be gone to pieces. The other thing is that the shoes were made completely out of Palm tree even the sewing was made from that material.
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Old 10 Sep 2009
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About this tragedy and also more about the deportation a Photo - documentary show in actually on in Tripoli.

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Old 10 Sep 2009
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biggest tragedy

Thank you for the respond, if you have more informations about the Kufra refugees it eould be interesting. Actually those shoes we found were found near Dakhla 100 kms south west from Dakhla near a grave, were a fenek was digging out the grave. The poor fellow was burried with his cloth these shoes were yust beside it. We yust took that picture and closed the grave again so the poor fellow could rest in peace.

Last year we also found on our way from the Kharga Oasis directly to Gebel Uweinat a route of camel skeletons every few kilometers. As this was never a trading route, those dead camels could either be from the expedition Prince Kemal el Din made to the Gebel Uweinat 1925 with 500 Camels carrying his fuel. Until now I never found any report on those camel transports, proberbly there was never anything written about them. So we don't knew how many from those camels actually died on the route.

But most proberbly those camels are also from the same Kufra refuguee time. Becaues they are plenty. Not like in Libya and Sudan the camels are Mummified, here you see the skeletons and the white bones.


So may be one has an explinations about that.
In Sudan you have plenty of mummified camels at Gebel Kissu, In Libya all around Uweinat, Archenu and on the way between those.
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