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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Wires from the front line: DR Congo

Darren Conway
Darren Conway goes on night patrol with UN peacekeeping forces

"We walked five miles in pitch black. It was a major operation and our guy was at the head of it."

Transcripts of telephone calls, text messages and
e-mails between Darren Conway (DC) in Democratic Republic of Congo and Will Daws, series producer in London, tell of Darren's tough mission.

All times GMT

Saturday 20 March

1800
I'm at the Uruguayan base now.

I have a 28-year-old lieutenant, Lt Hugo Casales. He was in the helicopter with the commander the other day and was the first on the scene and was in charge of raiding the village. He's good looking, fit and healthy. He's been here since September. He's at the front of any operations. He'll be tooled up.

Tomorrow I'll join them at 1600 then at 1800 they'll start the patrol, fully tooled up.

They come back at about midnight.

After a mission, de-tooling, eating, they bath and go to sleep. I sleep with them.

The day will be full. Lots of stuff. I may even get them out on a little day patrol. Then night patrol.

Sunday 21 March

1413
We're set. I'm heading off in half an hour. It will be all go at 1800 (1615 now) until midnight tomorrow night. Thought I'd call you to give you the timing.

Monday 22 March

1140
We've been non stop. We went on patrol/stake-out behind a displaced people's place.

Walked five miles from here through pitch black. It was a major operation and our guy was at the head of it. I tripped on a grave it was so dark.

Returned at 0900.. They've had a couple of hours kip (I've been checking equipment).

Hugo Casales
Hugo Casales

0000-0200 Around table with a map after being told of the next mission. Quick bite to eat, then they get their kit ready, get dressed, then start hiking.

0200:-0400 Hiking through back yards, rivers. Great stuff. (Filmed with night vision).

0400-0600 Arrive at stake-out spot. Then APCs (Anti Personnel Carriers) arrived with the rest of the company.

0600-0800 Sun rise. Launched a house-to-house search (fairly aggressive). High octane stuff.

0800-1000 Back to base where they went to eat. At 0900 it was cleaning weapons and chat.

1000-1200 Sleep.

1200-1400 Lunch.

1400-1600 Showering and shaving. At 1500 eating.

1600-1800 Walking around the market (loads of people around). Some exercises.

1800-2000 More exercises.

2000-2200 Watched a Bruce Willis film about massacres in Africa.

2200-0000 Patrol; quite nice and then great last shot!

The last shot I have is our character taking off his gear after the patrol walking over to the bed and slumping (1159).

One Day of War was broadcast in the UK on Thursday, 27 May, 2004 at 2100 BST on BBC Two.



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