Michael Apperley - Brazen harassment
I think they were just, you know, making a nuisance of themselves most of the time. As our time went on over there, they got a bit more brazen. They were becoming a bit more, this was sort of just opportunistic, I think, in a lot of instances. But back towards the back end of the process they were getting better organised and they were actually coming up with different ways of disrupting and creating havoc inside the organisation, inside the city itself, and within the compound as well.
Indeed, you know, as time marched on and they were getting better organised and being a bit more brazen, they were stopping us from doing things, particularly moving around inside of vehicles and for a period of time there, the only way we could actually get around the place was through traveling in helicopters. So that changed the dynamic very much.
And then they made a determination that they needed to reduce the amount of time that they were moving through the built-up areas. So they built a road, they actually built a road around the city back to the seaport in the airport, which were the main areas where we needed to travel. Yeah, so they did affect the force. Eventually they were, you know, doing certain things that you certainly weren't expecting.
We didn't have any armoured vehicles. All our vehicles were soft skin vehicles. And so we were not quite prepared for, you know, what was actually occurring over time … the Australian contingent really only had soft skin vehicles while I was there. But some parts of the UN force, the Pakistani battalion, and the Malaysian battalion and I think there was some Egyptian APCs there, but we rarely travelled in those vehicles.