Jérôme Tubiana

Jérôme Tubiana lives in France. He has reported on Niger, Chad and Sudan. He is a co-author of Multilateral Damage: The Impact of EU Migration Policies on Central Saharan Routes, published by Clingendael last year.

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana, 4 June 2020

Iarrived​ in Tripoli on 29 February during a lull in the bombardment of the city. The day before, no planes had been able to land: Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) had fired fifty or sixty missiles at the airport. Haftar has been trying to seize the capital from forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) for more than a year. The arrivals area at the...

Diary: Migrant Flows

Jérôme Tubiana and Clotilde Warin, 21 March 2019

More​ than a million migrants crossed the Mediterranean during the refugee crisis of 2015, with about 850,000 landing in Greece and the remainder in Italy. By March 2016 the EU had signed an agreement with Turkey: Ankara would do its best to ensure that the refugees (mostly Syrian) pushing up into Turkey would remain there, while the EU would send refugees arriving in Greece (mostly but not...

Short Cuts: Migrant Smugglers

Jérôme Tubiana, 14 June 2017

In 2014​, when migration into Europe via the Mediterranean reached unprecedented levels, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) opened a transit centre in the Saharan city of Agadez, the main smuggling hub in northern Niger. It can hold a thousand people: ambitious West Africans who haven’t managed to reach Europe and now need help to get home to Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal,...

Diary: In Guantánamo

Mohammed el Gorani and Jérôme Tubiana, 15 December 2011

I was born in 1986 in Saudi Arabia, in Medina, the Prophet’s city. My parents came from North Chad – I don’t know exactly where. They left Chad for Saudi because they believe that if you live in a holy place, it’s easier to go to paradise. They were nomads, from the Goran tribe. When they arrived in Medina, they took the tribe’s name as our family name, so I’m called Mohammed el Gorani, ‘the Goran’. My parents were camel herders and always had to keep moving to find grass. But when they arrived in Medina, my father did a lot of different jobs: washing cars, working in a shop belonging to a Saudi – you can’t have a shop if you’re not Saudi. There’s a lot of stupid rules about foreigners in Saudi Arabia. When my parents tried to send me to school, they said: ‘Is he Saudi?’

Chad’s Wars

Jérôme Tubiana, 17 December 2009

Omar al-Bashir seized control in Sudan in 1989; Idriss Déby entered N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, the following year, with Bashir’s approval. The two men belonged to a new generation of ambitious African leaders whose fortunes prospered as the Cold War drew to a close. Déby was a secular head of state, eager for the US to befriend Chad; Bashir’s regime was Islamist....

From The Blog
2 October 2012

The corridors of the Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel, one of the very few health facilities in the rebel area of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan, are cluttered with beds. Half the patients here have been wounded in the civil war that broke out in June 2011. The first war in the Nuba Mountains, between Khartoum’s government and the Nuba rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, started in 1985. When a ceasefire was signed under international pressure in 2002, the Nuba, rebels and civilians alike, were on their knees. Gidel Hospital, built soon afterwards, was made to resist a bomb blast. And with good reason. Sources close to the SPLA estimate that more than 900 bombs were dropped on the Nuba Mountains between June 2011 and January 2012, killing 86 civilians and injuring 170. More than 400,000 civilians have been displaced. Possibly hundreds of thousands of Nuba now rely on wild plants to survive. Khartoum’s tactics ten years on haven’t changed much since the first war: aerial bombing and ground shelling, attacks by the army and proxy militias, without much attempt to distinguish between military and civilian targets. But new arms have appeared as well.

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