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THE OBSERVERS

A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2012-02-24

Tuaregs taking up arms in Mali, 'magical' hunters in Ivory Coast, escaped rhinos in Japan, and more...

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

STORY 1: MALI

We begin today in the Sahel, the grasslands south of the Sahara Desert. The region is home to the nomadic Tuareg people - and, for the last, month, a little-known war... Tuareg rebels have been battling the government of Mali, fighting for independence. As in any war, the suffering has spread to civilians, who've been fleeing by thousands. Our Observer Hassan Midal has been trying the help them.

STORY 2:  IVORY COAST


Now to Ivory Coast and the head of the nation's new military police. His name is Koné Zakaria. He helped Alassane Ouattara defeat his rival Laurent Gbagbo, and now his job is to disarm the various groups who fought in last year's civil war. Commander Zakaria is also a dozo - a member of a society of traditional hunters, who are believed to have magical powers. They wear charms known as "gris gris," for instance, that supposedly protect them from bullets. The dozos played an important role in the war, and the commander recently brought them together to cement their support. Our Observer, a Frenchman who lives in Abidjan, was there.

STORY 3: WORLD


Now for our weekly roundup of the best images and stories sent in by our Observers.

First stop, Moscow, with a video the ruling party is not happy about. Our Observer Yevgeny filmed a woman he says was giving out bribes for people to show up at a campaign rally for Vladimir Putin, the current prime minister, who wants to have a second stint as president. Yevgeny says the woman was offering a thousand roubles, or about 25 euros, for people to go to the rally. The authorities say Yevgeny is lying, and no one's paying anyone to support Putin. But there are other stories that cause concern about the upcoming election.

This woman was the head of a polling station in southwestern Russia during the legislative elections that were held back in December. She says she's now refusing to take the same post in the presidential election, because, she says, election officials are under pressure to make sure Putin wins in the first round. There's even a target figure, she says - Putin's suppposed to get 70% of the vote. Now the authorities deny all of this too, but activisits say they'll be watching the March 4 poll like a hawk, with cameras at the ready to document any sign of election fraud.

Now to Japan - and a dramatic video. It happened at a zoo in Tokyo. An escaped rhino... he's not the only one. A polar bear... an orangutan... avery angry orang-utan... All right, they're not real. It's a training exercise for the zoo staff, so they'll know how to keep the public safe if an animal should get out of its enclosure. 

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2017-02-11 Guinea Conakry

Exclusive footage of horrific jail conditions in Cameroon, and 'waste-selfies' encourage Guinean govt to clean up their act

A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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2017-01-28 India

India's controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu, and a clean-up operation on a Brazilian beach

A traditional bull-taming sport causes controversy in India, locals band together to clean up a beach in Rio de Janeiro, and Egyptian cartoonists strike a little too close to the...

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2017-01-21 Cameroon

Pollution threatens island paradise of Mauritius, and one Cameroonian expat's quest to bring safe drinking water to his country

A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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2017-01-14 Burma

Burmese policemen abuse Rohingya in a video, and a Malian is deported from France in handcuffs

A video emerged of Rohingya attacked by Burmese policemen, a Malian was handcuffed on a plane and deported from France, and a controversial new song hit the airwaves in Saudi...

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2016-12-31 Afghanistan

The Best Of 2016 at The Observers

For our last show of 2016, we look back at our favourite Observers from the year. A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers...

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