From August 2018 through May 2019, reporter Philip Kleinfeld documented the upheaval to civilians’ lives and livelihoods as violence spread through the Sahel region of West Africa.
From the sandstone cliffs of Bandiagara in central Mali, to remote villages in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, he encountered new communal militias, and victims of jihadist and state security forces as he sought out communities impacted by the violence.
In this Reporter’s View, he describes the risks he faced, shares stories he heard along the way, and notes the warning signs missed as violence rose to unprecedented levels, leaving thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands more forced from their homes.
“I was frankly shocked by what I discovered,” says Kleinfeld, who has reported previously on conflict in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Congo-Brazzaville. “I was really shocked by the scale of the violence.”
Read more of our in-depth coverage on the Sahel’s spreading militancy here.
We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do
We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.
Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and do more of this.