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Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies - BIGSAS

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Koné, Bintou

Research Interests:


Geographical Area:

Mali and Burkina Faso

Current Project:

Affronter la peur : une étude comparative des initiatives locales après des attaques armées dans des communes maliennes et burkinabè

For a decade, the Sahel region has faced a multitude of growing and worsening security challenges. In particular, Mali and Burkina Faso are nowadays located at the heart of the Sahelian security crisis, where insecurity is mainly materialized by the rise of armed groups that carry out daily attacks against civilians, symbols and representatives of States. These armed attacks are carried out with unprecedented physical and psychological violence.
After armed attacks in a given locality in general, and in rural areas in particular, the consequences are immediate and some of them last for years. In such a context, fear appears to be one of the first important aspects to be studied: on the one hand, the attack as such generates fear; on the other hand, there is a fear that the security services would be unable to confront the assailants. Fear is considered a universal and omnipresent emotion but varies according to the context.
But the residents do not remain passive, after the armed attacks; instead, they seek to build the everyday and the living together. They carry out acts of local surveillance, checking the identity papers of foreigners, denouncing suspects, demolishing mosques and medersas (Coranic schools), threatening eviction, etc., discreetly and prudently, to avoid being labeled as ‘accomplices’. In this local struggle, discretion, vigilance and monitoring are at the heart of the residents’ concerns.

The objective of this study is to understand how residents of Malian and Burkinabe municipalities seek to build the everyday and the living together after armed terrorist attacks by integrating individual and collective fears, violent and psychological threats, and tensions between communities and individuals.

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