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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 : 2013-03-19

Ethnic rivalries in Guinea, adopting potholes in Slovakia, 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: Guinea

We start in the West African country Guinea, where a political crisis has flared up in recent weeks. The opposition is demanding upcoming elections be postponed. It says a vote would simply serve to promote President Alpha Condé’s ruling party.

The dispute has spilled onto the streets of the capital, Conakry. Our Observer, who wants to stay anonymous, saw an opposition rally turn into violent clashes between different ethnic groups. The party in power is backed by many Mandinka people, while the opposition looks to the Fula ethnic group for support.

Our Observer says politicians know how to stoke up ethnic rivalries for their own political gain.

In the first week of March alone, human rights groups say nine people were killed and 200 injured in Guinea’s political violence

 

Story 2: Slovakia


We now head to the motorways of Slovakia, where exasperated locals are sick and tired of finding their roads peppered with potholes after the winter ice melts. One newspaper has come up with a novel way of protecting the country’s roads – and its citizens' cars. It’s called ‘Adopt-a-pothole’

 

Story 3: World


Every day, we collaborate with our Observers to report on problems in their communities. Some of their problems are unique, but others are universal, like the problem of waste management. So we decided to reach out to all our Observers and ask them: Is rubbish a problem where you live?

Joel Hounge from Benin took this photo of Lake Nokoue. Unfortunately the lake’s right next to a market - and its banks are used as a public trash dump. It’s a similar story on the banks of a river in the south east Indian city Chennai, which used to be called Madras. It’s all the more depressing because all this waste eventually floats down into the sea. Bins overflowing on the streets of Marrakech, Morocco. It’s an increasingly common sight, according our Observer, who’s started a clean up initiative called ‘Save Marrakech’. Here’s a ‘plastic river’ in Yaounde in Cameroon. Here in Algeria, the Gouraya national park has become a makeshift rubbish dump. And finally in France, some French motorists clearly can’t wait to dispose of their litter, and so they simply throw it out of their windows
 

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