mathias depardon

Following the departure of Tunisia's strongman Zine El Abedine Ben Ali in early January and the drawn-out show down between President Mubarak and anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. On 17 February 2011 it was Libya's turn. The violence between rebel forces and those loyal to Gaddafi's teetering regime has caused approximately tens of thousands of migrant workers and Libyan civilians to flee their homes and seek safety in neighboring countries. Those left behind in rebel held areas face constant bombardment by loyalist troops on bothside of the country. Civilians in Tripoli and other cities under Gaddafi's control have been caught in the path of NATO bombing. Though they scored a number of local victories against an ill-prepared and divided army early on, anti-government rebels increasingly lost ground to a defiant Gadhafi who vowed to "die a martyr" rather than relinquish power and started to pound rebel positions with superior fire power. Over the first two weeks of March, constantly shifting front lines and a messy theatre of local battles characterized the inconclusive uprising that increasingly started to resemble a fully blown civil war. I first covered the so called Révolution du Jasmin before heading towards the Tunisian border in the early days of the conflict, witnessing the waves of refugees emerging out of Libya but also the Eastern part of Libya to document the situation amongst the fighters and civilians of Benghazi. 

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