Jérôme Tubiana

Jérôme Tubiana has reported on Sudan, Chad, Niger and Libya, often for the LRB.

Diary: In Darfur

Jérôme Tubiana, 3 June 2021

Abunduluk’s body, covered with scars, is a map of the Darfur conflict. He rolled up his trousers and showed me marks on both his calves: his older wounds were from 1989, during the first war between Arabs and Fur. A janjawid bullet killed his grandfather and he was hit in the leg. He was fourteen and still at school. Many of his other relatives, including his father, were killed in the following years. A scar on his right leg, from 2000, came from a janjawid ambush on Shoba, where he was visiting relatives. In 2002, sixty people were killed in another assault on the village, and Abunduluk was injured in the left arm. Shortly afterwards he joined the rebellion. The scar on his head is a souvenir of the rebel raid on El-Fasher in 2003. Harassed by aerial bombardment in the mountains where they were hiding, the first Darfur rebels – 317 fighters moving in thirteen pickups – surprised and destroyed two planes and five helicopters at the nearby airfield. After the raid, Abunduluk discovered a man hiding in a fridge in the officers’ quarters. He pointed his gun but his commander ordered him not to shoot. 

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, 15 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,...

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.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences