In the year 1141, civil war rages in England. Robber barons pillage and loot, while rampaging armies terrorise the countryside. But never fear: the peacekeepers are coming. The Organisation of Nations of the World (known in Latin as ONO) launches the England Operation to sort everything out. In this world-turned-upside-down satirical take on the peacekeeping industry, rich and powerful African businesswomen and politicians collude with Norman overlords to steal England’s most valuable natural resource—sheep—as the hapless international troops who are supposed to stop the war sink ever deeper into the swamp of violence and corruption that is twelfth-century England.
“Tell them the patience of the international community with England is starting to wear thin. The civil war has gone on too long, and we expect the English leaders to show the courage and the statesmanship to accept our peace proposal. Once they do, sanctions can be lifted and the donor community can step in. That’s the line I’d advise.” “Very well.” The secretary-general leaned so far back in his seat that his face could barely be seen above the huge desk, which was cluttered with piles of documents and newssheets and a large collection of family photographs. “England! It sounds like such an exotic place,” he mused. “Like something out of the old myths—you know, the perpetual cold of the country beyond the north wind, and all that. ‘This precious stone set in the silver sea … this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.’ Who wrote that? Somebody wrote that. Oh, I know, that Arab poet chappie, the Sheikh As-Sebir. I think my trip to England is going to be very interesting …”
Armed with a degree in international politics from Lancaster University, England, Peter Swarbrick entered a career in peacekeeping that took him to Cambodia, New York and half a dozen African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he spent six years. He now lives in Yangon, Myanmar.