UGANDAN BORDER By Stephen Norton, Kabao Rwanda 3 Section B Coy Cpl S Norton and Pte Timmins 1995/96

A few days after Anzac Day my section was called in after the first night of shootings. We got orders after 1300 hrs and didn’t turn up till night after going through five different maps and nearly going over the border to Uganda. We were then escorted to Kabao, which in itself was funny. Nearly ending up in Uganda was not a good thing. I was convoy commander and trying to find a small gravel road. My platoon commander thought it better he kept the GPS in case he needed to find his way during the daylight.
Just short of the Ugandan boarder, I thought, ‘Oh fuck! This is way wrong. We found another UN force from an African unit and stopped to ask for directions. They smiled and told us we were about one kilometre from the Ugandan border. They gave us one of their own people, as it was nearing midnight and he showed us the way back to where we needed to be.
I don’t know if this will count as funny but at the time and in our situation we couldn’t do anything but find it funny. Whilst at Kabao and snowed under with what we already had to deal with, two trucks turned up from another DPP camp with this old lady half-laying half-sitting on a stretcher. At that height it was hard lifting stretchers down carefully. We asked her numerous time to lay flat but she refused to so in the end we did our best to gently lift her down. Inevitably, she fell off the stretcher at it highest point, head first into the dirt. She looked up at us as if to say “you f*cking c*nts” before standing up, walking over to the stretcher and promptly laying down fully. It may sound bad but at the time it looked funny and the look on her face was priceless.

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