Sadibou Marong takes over as director of RSF’s West Africa bureau

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is pleased to announce that Sadibou Marong, a Senegalese journalist who had been working for Amnesty International since 2014, is taking over this week as the director of RSF’s Dakar-based West Africa bureau.

Marong is tasked with developing the activities of the bureau, which was created in 2019, and with reinforcing RSF’s impact in the region. Under his predecessor as director, Assane Diagne, RSF strengthened its network of correspondents and local partners in West Africa, defended journalists who were attacked or imprisoned, and trained more than 250 journalists, especially in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Togo.

In 2022, the bureau will focus especially on conducting one of RSF’s priority campaigns, the defence of journalism in the Sahel region, where it is proving harder and harder for journalists to work because of the presence of armed groups and because of provisions designed to limit or regulate their activity.

The physical dangers have reached such a level that they now threaten access to reliable news and information in this vast region, which is as big as Europe. Last year, two Spanish journalists, David Beriain and Roberto Fraile, were killed in Burkina Faso, while the French journalist Olivier Dubois was abducted by an armed group in Mali and is still being held hostage.

RSF will also continue its work in Guinea, which RSF representatives visited twice last year in order to provide help and encouragement to its media and journalists who were regularly harassed, intimidated and attacked under President Alpha Condé until he was ousted in a military coup in September.

In a region that suffers from all of the greatest threats to journalism, and in particular the physical dangers linked to the presence of armed groups in the Sahel, Sadibou Marong’s arrival is excellent news and a significant boost for our organisation,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “His appointment will also allow us to continue developing our newest bureau, created three years ago, and to help to defend journalism even more effectively in West Africa. His experience and energy will be major assets.

Marong is very familiar with press freedom issues in West Africa. After graduating in journalism from the highly reputed Centre for the Study of Information Sciences and Techniques (CESTI) in Dakar in 1998, he worked for more than 10 years for the leading Senegalese national daily Le Soleil and was a contributor to several leading international media outlets including the Associated Press and Bloomberg. After a stint at the Africa office of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), where he carried out projects on the safety of journalists, he had worked for Amnesty International since 2014 as its regional media manager in West and Central Africa.

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Updated on 18.01.2022