A British student who had to be evacuated from Kabul after he went there on holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August has travelled to South Sudan.
Miles Routledge, 21, flew to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on Monday before catching a second plane to Juba in South Sudan, according to his Twitter profile.
He praised the climate and locals after his first day, said he had been offered a tribal wife and quipped ‘I can honestly say I prefer it to London in many ways’.
Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, was invited to the country by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan. He plans to spend several weeks hiking in Uganda before crossing into Kenya to visit a fan.
The Foreign Office advises against all travel to South Sudan, which has been ravaged by civil war and violence since becoming in independent in 2011.
The Loughborough physics student, who wears a large silver cross around his neck, has said he has taken ‘supplies’ to rural communities and handed out cash to people in the streets.
Miles Routledge, 21, who had to be evacuated from Kabul after he went there on holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August has travelled to South Sudan
Mr Routledge flew to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on Monday before catching a second plane to Juba in South Sudan, according to his Twitter profile
Mr Routledge also posted a picture brandishing a pile of Sudanese money which, he said, was worth ‘less than $100’.
‘From my first day in south Sudan, the weathers lovely, people are very friendly and helpful, I don’t feel unsafe, I got offered a tribal wife, I goofed off with locals and got some cheap food. Absolutely recommend South Sudan. Can’t wait til tomorrow,’ he wrote.
But only 24 hours later, the Brit said he was leaving for Kenya as soon as possible after receiving anonymous threats he would be arrested at the border and prevented from getting money from ATMs.
Mr Routledge told the Times he wanted to visit Sudan because he had heard the country was ‘chaotic’ and wanted to experience it for himself.
He added he had twice tried to travel to the north of the country but was stopped by soldiers – including children brandishing AK47s.
Mr Routledge claimed he was offered a Sudanese wife and a new name by a remote tribe, that he did not identify.
He also claimed to have heard gunshots going off at night, in scenes reminiscent of his time in Afghanistan, thought the reports were rubbished online.
Mr Routledge has previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, was invited to the country by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan. He plans to spend several weeks hiking in Uganda before crossing into Kenya to visit a fan
Ahead of his latest trip, Mr Routledge said he was stopped at London’s Luton Airport by security who took him into a back room for three hours for questioning.
He claims officials took his fingerprints, photo, a DNA swab and searched his bag and phone during the interrogation.
Writing on Twitter, he said the questioning meant he missed his flight from Luton and was forced to book a second plane from Gatwick the next day.
In August, Mr Routledge, who said he went on holiday to Afghanistan ‘because it was dangerous’ had to be evacuated from Kabul after spending days hiding in the United Nations safehouse following several failed attempts to escape the city.
At the time, Mr Routledge wrote on Facebook: ‘Got Evacuated at 4ish (it’s 2am now) with 100 or so other civilians, couldn’t message as there were cars emitting signals that would set off bombs, it blocked my airpods from connecting so I think it blocked all wifi/data.
‘The Taliban let us go through the airport and we met many of them, very long transition period but everyone was smiling and waving at one another, some took selfies with them. I slept on a dirt/gravel road and woke up as cars went by. We’re in a new safe house and we’re all hydrated, happy and ready for a few hours of sleep.’
Shortly after he posted an update saying: ‘On the flight out we aren’t allowed any liquids at all, no razors and only 1 bag up to 10kg so everyone is tossing all their belongings into a pile.
‘People are donating each other their items because they can’t carry them. Some lads stuffed my body armour and bag with protein bars, over 20 of them. Very happy man (right now). Thank you lads.’
Mr Routledge says he came across two armed convoys during the Taliban insurgency, and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements
In posts to message board site 4chan and livestreaming platform Twitch, Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, claims he was quizzed by armed Taliban militants while on his way to Kabul International Airport
In posts to message board site 4chan and livestreaming platform Twitch, he claims he was quizzed by armed Taliban militants while on his way to Kabul International Airport.
They apparently asked him where he was from – to which he said Wales. He claims the fighters did not know where Wales was, and let him go. Mr Routledge says he later came across another armed convoy during the Taliban insurgency and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements.
Speaking to the Times, he claims he made the decision to visit Afghanistan after watching tourism videos on YouTube. He says that when the takeover began, he could not refund his flights so chose to travel instead.
Mr Routledge also said he had accepted the possibility that he might die in Afghanistan. In a message addressed to friends on social media, he apparently wrote: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and something has not gone to plan resulting in this situation.
‘There was no convincing me otherwise and I knew the risks, it was a gamble I took that went wrong despite my confidence and jokes.’
He yesterday told his viewers: ‘I was fully prepared for death, I accepted it. This trip has been a test of God. I’m very religious so I believe I’ll be looked after.
‘Before I left I wrote a letter to my friends saying that if I died, not to feel guilty, that I would die happy and religious and proud.’
He says that he may be safe because of a £15 joke purchase he made which gives him the right to use the title ‘Lord’, seen on his American Express card.
The student told his followers: ‘The Taliban may see that as reason enough to keep me alive, thinking it may hold some negotiating power as they’ll think I’m important. Let’s hope it won’t get to that stage though.’