Colin Freeman

Colin Freeman is former chief foreign correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph and author of ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The mission to rescue the hostages the world forgot.’

How did my children become more middle class than me?

In a café in Norfolk last week, my seven-year-old son uttered words that mortified me. No, he didn’t comment loudly on someone’s weight, or ask why the lady next to us had a moustache. It was worse than that. Asked by a kindly man at the next table if he was enjoying his bacon sandwich,

Alms for arms

In the rush to declare Isis dead now that its caliphate has been routed from Iraq and Syria, it’s easy to forget that its Nigerian fellow traveller, Boko Haram, is still going strong. April’s five-year anniversary of the Chibok schoolgirls’ kidnapping, for example, passed with barely a celebrity tweet to mark it, despite the fact

Pirates of the Caribbean

Brian Austin, a fisherman from the small village of Cedros in Trinidad, is struggling to describe the men who robbed him out at sea last year. ‘They had guns, they wore T-shirts and hoods.’ Then he brightens: ‘Have you ever seen Somali pirates? They looked just like that.’ I have indeed seen Somali pirates, as

Courage and conviction

When Britain finally lowered the flag in the Iraqi city of Basra in 2007, the army’s top brass valiantly claimed that they were leaving it to ‘self-rule’ rather than all-out anarchy. Despite the militiamen in the streets and the mortars in the skies, this was what success looked like in Iraq they told the invited

Homage to Ambazonia

 Calabar, Nigeria Simon Ngwa is a gentle and polite man, and he apologised to me first for what he was about to say. ‘I’m sorry if this upsets you, but we in Cameroon are very bitter towards Britain,’ he said. ‘As a child, I was taught to look up to the British Crown as a

Unhappy returns

What to do about illegal migration from Africa into Europe? The EU’s repatriation programme seems at first like a great idea. Rather than just watching as desperate people risk their lives in the Med, we persuade them to go back home and help them to remake their lives there. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for

Amazing grace | 18 January 2018

Last week, Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo, aka ‘The Master’, was finally caught and shot by the Nigerian army. Oyawerikumo and his Egbesu Boys had styled themselves as local Robin Hoods, taking riches from oil companies in the Niger Delta, but they won’t be much missed. In the remote swamp town of Enekorogha, their demise will be celebrated,

Despot hero

James Sackie would make a good frontman for a campaign to help ex-child soldiers. At the age of 17, he was press-ganged into one of Charles Taylor’s juvenile militias. Twenty years on, he talks movingly, in his matter-of-fact pidgin English, about the dreadful things he saw, including the day he had to stop his own

Exodus from Gambia

A ticket to paradise comes very cheap in Gambia — as long as you’re headed in the right direction. Thomas Cook charges just £230 for the six-hour flight from Gatwick to West Africa, and in the cheaper hotels along the cream-white palm beaches, a week’s stay costs even less. For the 100,000 Europeans who flock

How to defeat a caliphate

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Andrew Bacevich and Douglas Murray discuss how ISIS can be crushed” startat=39] Listen [/audioplayer]Last Sunday Isis raised their black flag over Palmyra. Below the flag, in the days that followed, the usual carnage began: beheadings, torture, desecration. Syrian state TV has reported that over 400 civilians have been killed already, and the big