The young mercenary carefully wrapped a roll of grey duct tape around the butt of his rifle. It had cracked during a skirmish earlier that morning and there were no replacement weapons anywhere.
I had travelled to an APR checkpoint to interview one of their medics, but things were postponed due to the morning assault by UFLL troops. Now the medic was tending to the wounded while I watched mercs repair their weapons.
Lately everyone is doing homemade repairs to any damage their guns receive in combat. Likewise, virtually all target practice has been halted due to a growing shortage of ammo.
This comes on the heels of the African Union’s arms embargo. All weapons reaching the country’s borders are either confiscated or turned away.
Talking with the APR unit’s sergeant, I asked how long they could hold out with sub-par weapons. “We can manage as long as the UFLL. They have the same problem, but it’s okay. We’ve made arrangements.”
I pressed him for more details. Was he suggesting the APR had made arrangements with the UFLL? But he just rolled his head. It was enough to pique my curiosity. Could the APR and UFLL actually be working together to secure arms? Arms that they will end up using on each other. And if so, where are these arms coming from?