Posted on | March 6, 2011 | 15 Comments
Obama: Africa lessons; look ahead. En route back to U.S.
N’DJAMENA, Chad–Sen. Barack Obama departed this capital city Sunday morning, en route on an Army military aircraft to Frankfort, Germany to catch a commercial flight back to the United States.
He leaves wtih a “great urgency” to pressure the U.S. and other players to force Sudan to accept a United Nations peackeeping force in the Darfur region. Obama’s last stop was at a refugee camp near the Chad-Sudan border where some 15,333 people who fled Janjaweed violence live. Of those he talked to, they told him almost to a person they want to return-but cannot unless there are UN troops there to guarantee their safety.
After this major Africa swing–he left Washington on Aug. 18–the Illinois Democrat revs up a heavy political schedule in advance of the November elections, stumping in Iowa on Sept. 17, a stop in the early presidential caucus state that fuels speculation about whether the White House is in his future.
Obama launches his national book tour for his second book Oct. 17 in Chicago.
He reflected on his trip at the back of a plane on Saturday, talking above the roar of the engines to the three print reporters who have been covering his trip.
Obama’s next big international journey will be in 2007r–he’s looking at China, India and Indonesia, “where ironicall I actually have more of a childhood than I do in Kenya.’‘