French Soldiers in the Sahel: A Barely Repressed Colonial Unconscious
· October 2020
They’ve “done their time” in Africa. Or better still they’ve made war in Africa. In the Sahelo-Saharan strip, known in French army jargon as the “BSS”. A war they describe in their own words, the language of soldiers brought up on the “exploits” of colonial conquest and indoctrinated in war colleges, (...)
Climate Change Devastates the Sahel
· September 2020
The Sahel is a region made increasingly arid by the encroaching desert and yet it must deal periodically with devastating floods. A double bind with many causes.
A man wading across an expanse of water carrying a mattress on his head. A woman piling onto a makeshift rowboat the pots and pans (...)
Mali: TV Can Kill
· February 2020
The family of Sadou Yehia, a Malian villager murdered by Jihadists on 8 February, accuse France 24, a news channel with a large audience in the region, of being responsible for his death. In a sequence shot by a crew accompanying French soldiers and showing how stock breeders are racketed, the (...)
Who are These “Jihadists” Who Are Defeating the French Army in the Sahel?
· September 2019
The French army is bogged down in the Sahel. Despite its occasional victory communiqués, the fighting has spread to more countries in the region. These failures originate in Paris’s inability to understand what is at stake politically, or the motivations of the hundreds of young men who are (...)