I hadn’t expected the next killings of expats to come so quickly.
Though the deaths of the DHL staff are murkier in their motives – was it a suicide shooting? – a grievance? – a what? – concentrating too much on why these guys were killed takes attention away from the fact that they were killed. Does it matter if it was armed opposition groups or armed criminal groups or Taliban. Or, as is often the case these days, maybe it was Taliban subcontracting to criminal groups. Or maybe it was criminals with Taliban sympathies. You can ride the speculation train for a long time.
But like I said, maybe it doesn’t matter so much. Yet somehow, and I hesitate to write this, it still feels different to Gail’s killing. Is it because I knew Gail? Is it because Gail was an aid worker? Is it because Gail was killed so close to our home? And because today’s killings feel different, we are still not pushed over the edge to leave here.
Am I simply justifying not making the decision to leave? Is the killing of these two men so different? Presumably, they got up, got dressed, putting their pants on one leg at a time, as usual. Ate breakfast, came to work. I am sure they would have known about Gail, but they must have thought they were different. I can see their reasoning: ‘Her death was over there. She took risks, walking the street. She was an aid worker. She was a Christian. Our situation is different.’
Maybe the routes were different, but they all ended up in the same morgue.
Well. After some thought, I did make up a self-assessment sheet for the expat staff to fill out each month, as a means to monitor changes in how they perceive security, and how they feel about it. Hopefully it will help us avoid accommodating and justifying and minimising the negative changes (which we all do). I hope it can help us retain a bit of objectivity, and see more clearly how things have changed.
Assuming we are still here in a month to fill out the next one.
For anyone interested in using the tool, feel free. It is not onerous (or people never use such things): Security threat assessment expat staff
I’m working on a similar tool for national staff.
And thanks again for the comments and care.