Jérôme Tubiana

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A rebel convoy in North Darfur province, Sudan, 2009. Jérôme Tubiana

In 2009 Arbab, a tall, slim, thirty-five-year-old man, was driving a pickup truck in North Darfur province, part of a rebel convoy that had crossed into Sudan from Chad. Aside from a small circle in the windshield through which to see the road, his vehicle was covered in mud, making for a stark contrast with his perfectly clean uniform. The guerillas were trying to hide from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), whose fighter jets nonetheless launched optimistic volleys at their convoy.

The conflict in Darfur, a region the size of France in the west of Sudan, had begun in 2003. It pitted two rebel forces, largely drawn from local non-Arab communities, against the central government of President Omar al-Bashir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Survivors rescued from migrant vessels aboard the Geo Barents, a Médecins Sans Frontières ship in the Central Mediterranean, September 7, 2022. Jérôme Tubiana

Since the election of a far-right government in Italy in September, Europe’s debate over migration has flared up again. Although it has no legal basis for doing so, the new administration in Rome has been trying to impose a naval blockade against NGO vessels rescuing migrants, who continue to board overcrowded boats for the sake of crossing the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy.

Summer, when the sea is calm, is the season of most of the crossings. Last August the two of us boarded the Geo Barents, a rescue vessel run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, for a “rotation” of an unpredictable duration (most last two to four weeks).…  Seguir leyendo »