Category Archives: NORTH AFRICA
Libya’s “Pearl of the Desert”January 1, 2013 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS
From Libya to Mali, a Tale of Two ReturnsApril 25, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS
Haruna Traoré, a Malian who had spent a decade in Libya, compares the return
of about 20,000 Malian migrant workers to that of some 2,000 Tuaregs and
says they’ve been on the loser’s end twice — in Libya, and back home in Mali.
Migration and the Arab Spring: a Short IntroductionApril 22, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS
Excellent read from the Brooking’s Institute on migration, displacement and the Arab Spring as I embark on a 6-month long Immigration Journalism Fellowship on this very subject thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation and the French-American Foundation.
An estimated two million people have left their homes over the last year as a result of the impact of the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East. And at least thirty countries have been directly affected by these flows according to its author, Khalid Koser.
“Numerically, the largest single category of people who have been forced from their homes over the last year during the Arab Spring has been migrant workers. This phenomenon has been particularly significant in Libya. In the three months between March and June 2011, over half a million migrant workers left Libya for Egypt and Tunisia — more than the number of Libyans who fled the country during all of last year and more than the number of internally displaced Libyans or Syrians. While the majority of these migrant workers were from Egypt and Tunisia, about 250,000 were from other countries, in particular sub-Saharan Africa.”
And that’s precisely where I start my reporting project, in West Africa. First stop: Mali, a country that is feeling the first major shockwave of Gaddafi’s fall.
Most people here see the current crisis in North Mali as a by-product of the conflict in Libya last year.
Addressing the turmoil in West Africa and the Sahel region, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon too connected both episodes in his address last week to Luxembourg’s Parliament: “Events in Libya have made an already difficult security and humanitarian situation even worse. Many thousands returned home to the Sahel. Some were migrant workers, but others are armed fighters, criminal elements, bringing with them large quantities of light and heavy weapons and ammunition.”
Stay tuned for my upcoming story on the migration-based connections between the Libyan uprising and the current crisis in Mali.