Correspondent / behind the news

Behind the image

A man carrying a sailfish walks through Hamarweyne district in South Mogadishu on March 25, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza)

(AFP Photo / Carl de Souza)


The best pizza in Mogadishu


"The first time I went to Mogadishu there were soldiers on the roof of the airport terminal and a crashed cargo plane on the apron with a rocket-sized hole in its fuselage. I wore body armour pretty much all the time, was woken by explosions at night and ducked rifle fire by day," writes AFP's Tristan McConnell. "That was five years ago. I was back again recently and went out for a pizza, at night."

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Above the fold

Elephants, hunters and storybooks

Friday 29 May 2015 - Eye witness

A photo taken on March 20, 2015 shows an elephant splashing at sunset in the waters of the Chobe river in Botswana Chobe National Park (AFP PHOTO/CHRIS JEK)

"I have never hunted, and I never will. Especially not an elephant," writes AFP's Johannesburg correspondent Julie Jammot. "People willing to defend hunters are few and far between these days. Those who hunt for hunting's sake, for a 'trophy', are widely seen as criminals."

But when she travels to Botswana to report on a recent hunting ban, she sees villages hurting from lost tourism revenue, harvests destroyed by elephants emboldened to trample over fields. "By this point I have had to review some of my certainties," she writes.

(Photo: AFP / Chris Jek)

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On tour with Hezbollah

Wednesday 27 May 2015 - Eye witness

A Hezbollah fighter monitors an area as he stands on a hill in the Lebanese side of the Qalamun mountains on the border with Syria on May 20, 2015 ( AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID)

"The Hezbollah fighter grimaced as a bank of photographers kneeled in front of him, struggling to take pictures that complied with the group's strict media rules but would still have news value," writes Sara Hussein. "The interaction was part of an unusual media tour organised by the powerful Lebanese Shiite group of their positions in the Qalamun region on the porous Syria-Lebanon border."

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‘Journalist scum’ and the Cannes glitterati

Tuesday 26 May 2015 - Eye witness

A photo taken with a mobile phone shows a woman distributing the local newspaper's festival edition outside the Festival palace during the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 14, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE)

"Two floors above us is an impossible level of glamour, people of such mind-bending charisma that the mere sight of them walking on carpet can set off a frenzy of shutter clicks and hysterical screaming," writes Eric Randolph, fresh from covering the 68th Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera. "But pan down through the floors into the basement, and things are decidedly less glamorous."

(Photo: AFP / Valery Hache)

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Patience and resilience in quake-hit Nepal

Wednesday 20 May 2015 - Eye witness

Nepalese civilians and police personnel clear rubble at the Narayan temple in Kathmandu on May 2, 2015, one week after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25 (AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA)

"Two words tweeted by a Nepali journalist friend moments after the second quake last Tuesday summed up the mood in Kathmandu: 'Enough already'," writes AFP's Claire Cozens. "Few people slept that night. Like the buildings imperceptibly weakened by the first quake that crumbled in the second, the city's stoicism appeared to falter. And yet just a day later, residents were out helping the army clear rubble from the streets. No one expected the government to help, so they were helping themselves – and each other."

(Photo: AFP / Menahem Kahana)

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The extraordinary life of 'Doña Anna'

Tuesday 19 May 2015 - Decoding

Anna Kipper, AFP's first female bureau chief, in her office in Bogota in the 1970s (Photo: El Tiempo)

She was an extraordinary journalist, who lived an extraordinary life. Anna Kipper was a Polish Jew driven from Europe during World War II who went on to become AFP’s first female bureau chief, in Bogota in 1946. A reporter whose career mirrored the upheavals of the 20th century, from Europe to Latin America. This is her story, told by Yves Gacon, AFP's director of archives and publishing.

(Photo: El Tiempo)

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Bolanita: Indonesia's women footballers

Monday 18 May 2015 - Eye witness

This photo taken in Jakarta on March 26, 2015 shows Vica Anyistiawati (L) dribbling the ball past Yulita Cyndi Anggraini of CSC (Cibubur Soccer Club) during a football training session in Jakarta. (AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY)

"The girls emerged one by one from the changing room, in red jerseys with numbers on their backs. But instead of jogging out to the football field, they ducked into a small mosque for afternoon prayers," writes the photographer Adek Berry. "When AFP asked me to shoot a reportage on female football in Indonesia, I jumped at the chance. But women footballers are no common sight in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation."

(AFP Photo / Adek Berry)

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'If you find my dead body…'

Wednesday 13 May 2015 - Eye witness

French far-right Front National (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen sings at the foot of a statue of Joan of Arc at the party's annual May 1 rally in Paris in 2015. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON)

"Jean-Marie Le Pen is a complex character, both an erudite with a rich knowledge of history and a relentless provocateur. It takes time to figure him out," writes Guillaume Daudin, who covers the National Front for AFP. "Le Pen may be physically diminished. But he is far from the senile old man some would paint him as. He knows exactly what he is doing."

(Photo: AFP / Thomas Samson)

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Death in their eyes

Tuesday 12 May 2015 - Eye witness

A gang member gestures from a bus as he is transferred to a high-security prison on April 24, 2015 in Izalco, El Salvador (AFP PHOTO / Marvin RECINOS)

"When your phone rings and drags you from sleep at five in the morning, there are only two possible explanations: someone dialled your number by mistake, or there is an emergency," writes the AFP photographer Marvin Recinos. "This Friday it was no mistake. On the end of the line was one of my sources, warning me that hundreds of highly-dangerous gang members, or 'pandilleros', were about to be moved from prisons in the east of El Salvador, to the top-security facility of Izalco to the west of the capital."

(AFP Photo / Marvin Recinos)

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