Vincent Foucher

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de Marzo de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

An internally displaced person camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria, like the one that houses Zahra and Amina. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP

Zahra and Amina seem like lucky survivors of the scourge of northeastern Nigeria, the jihadist movement known as Boko Haram. Both were wives of fighters. Zahra escaped by agreeing to detonate an explosive vest that the militants strapped to her. After walking miles to her intended target, a government checkpoint, she turned herself over to soldiers. Amina fled with her three children after her husband was killed in battle.

Today, both women live in a camp for survivors of the conflict in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. When I met them on a recent research trip to the city, the last thing I expected to hear was that they wanted to rejoin the insurgents.…  Seguir leyendo »

Armed jihadist groups have developed a dangerous new strategy after being chased out of most major towns they once held in Africa’s Sahel, the vast expanse of arid, sparsely populated brushland that crosses the continent along the southern edge of the Sahara desert.

Rather than trying to hold towns or urban districts, these groups – which include al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM) and al-Murabitoun – are using bases in the countryside to strike at provincial and district centres, often forcing national armies to retreat and local state authorities to abandon immense rural areas to jihadist control.…  Seguir leyendo »

A displaced malnourished mother and her children sit on the ground waiting for food in Bama's camp for internally displaced people (IDP), Borno State, northeastern Nigeria, 30 June 2016. AFP/STRINGER

Children are dying in Bama, a town in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, suffering from lack of food, clean water and medical care. They are the most tragic manifestation of the humanitarian fallout of the Boko Haram insurgency and the state response to it, a crisis that now impacts the lives of millions. The insurgency itself, the aggressive military response to it, and the lack of effective assistance, both national and international, to those caught up in the conflict threaten to create an endless cycle of violence and depredation. Unless efforts to contain and roll back the current crisis are quickly scaled-up, peace is likely to remain a distant prospect in this region of Nigeria.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’attaque de Boko Haram le 3 juin 2016 contre la ville nigérienne de Bosso, au bord du lac Tchad, a confirmé la résilience du mouvement insurrectionnel et mis au jour les fragilités du dispositif militaire nigérien. Les autorités nigériennes ont officiellement confirmé la perte de vingt-six militaires. Mais l’attaque de Bosso permet aussi de remobiliser les forces régionales qui affirment vouloir porter un coup décisif à Boko Haram.

Une opération majeure de la Force multinationale mixte (FMM), retardée depuis plusieurs mois, est annoncée comme imminente. Cependant, pour réduire durablement le phénomène Boko Haram, le Niger et ses partenaires dans la sous-région et au-delà devraient se garder de certaines confusions dangereuses quant aux cibles à choisir et aux moyens à employer.…  Seguir leyendo »

People wait to be served food at Dikwa camp, in Borno, north-eastern Nigeria. More than 50,000 people in the state are critically food insecure. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Nigeria has scored important successes against Boko Haram. The military campaign that President Muhammadu Buhari launched after his election last year is stronger and better coordinated. The insurgency is now less of a military threat, after seven years of conflict that have killed tens of thousands of people, uprooted millions, damaged local economies and cross-border trade, and spread to the Lake Chad basin states of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

However, as regional states and their international partners gather in Abuja on Saturday to discuss their strategy, Boko Haram remains a major security challenge requiring a coordinated response. It may prove tough to eradicate, and the toughest challenge remains: to dry up its pool of recruits through better development and governance.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’année en cours aura été une année électorale chargée en Afrique de l’Ouest. Après le Togo et le Nigeria, la Guinée et la Côte d’Ivoire ont organisé des élections présidentielles en octobre dernier. Le « coup KO » annoncé dans les slogans de campagne a eu lieu, et les présidents sortants ont été largement réélus dès le premier tour : Alassane Ouattara en Côte d’Ivoire avec 83,6 pour cent des voix, et Alpha Condé en Guinée avec 57,8 pour cent.

Pays aux trajectoires politiques différentes, la Guinée et la Côte d’Ivoire font aujourd’hui face aux mêmes défis. Bien qu’ayant connu des élections meurtrières par le passé, ces deux voisins ont connu cette fois-ci des scrutins calmes ou avec des violences limitées.…  Seguir leyendo »

Guinea’s history of electoral violence may not be over. Tension is building around the presidential poll scheduled for this October and the local elections planned for early next year. The opposition – principally Cellou Dalein Diallo’s Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea and Sidya Touré’s Union of Republican Forces – is concerned about possible fraud. Threatened protests should be taken seriously: in 2013, about 100 people died during electoral unrest.

To set the stage for a comprehensive dialogue about the voting system, the local elections should be rescheduled for this year, so that they take place before the presidential ballot. International actors, in particular the UN Office for West Africa and the EU, would then need to support that dialogue and ensure its results are implemented.…  Seguir leyendo »