The year 2011 was easily the most eventful in France 24’s short history. From the Arab revolutions to the death of Bin Laden, as well as the start of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, France 24’s reporters were present on all fronts.
2011 was deeply influenced by the Arab Spring. First, there was the fall of Ben Ali, in Tunisia, where it all began. We then went to Egypt, to the heart of Tahrir Square, then to Libya where we closely followed the first steps of the protesters who soon became rebels. Our reporter Jean-Marie Lemaire almost paid for it with his life.
As if that was not enough, Japan was hit by an unprecedented disaster – an earthquake, a tsunami and the explosion of several nuclear reactors. We went to meet the “liquidators” of Fukushima.
But that was only the beginning. France 24 was also there for the fall of Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast, the death of Osama Bin Laden in a small town in Pakistan, and the arrest of the “Butcher of the Balkans” Ratko Mladic in Serbia.
Although the summer was quieter, the famine in Somalia kept us occupied, with an exceptional report at the heart of Mogadishu. On the other side of the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden led the Americans to withdraw from Afghanistan to end a war which had begun ten years earlier. The first Marines to leave the country told us of their doubts.
Finally, the Arab Spring continued well past its season. The storming of Tripoli and the fall of Bab al Azizia filmed by Matthieu Mabin constitute an exceptional piece of viewing.
So far, nothing has been resolved in Syria, Yemen remains a powder keg and clashes have resumed in Egypt. Next year, yet again, France 24 will be where the news happens.