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36 - Masculinités médiatiques

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The controversial role of radio in the 1989 Senegalese-Mauritanian events

Le Temps des médias n° 36, Printemps 2021.

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In April 1989, a major diplomatic and humanitarian crisis broke out between neighboring Senegal and Mauritania. It then provoked deadly intercommunity clashes and massive displacements of populations on both sides of the border. The role played by the media in general, the radio in particular, in the outbreak and the amplification of violence, constituted one of the great variables of this diplomatic crisis which also laid bare a very deep identity and political problem. The instrumentalization of the radio by both governments seemed to have exacerbated the many grudges and disputes between Mauritanians and Senegalese to the point of leading to a full-blown humanitarian crisis not yet settled to date. Indeed, this unprecedented crisis has revealed political and historical issues that are closely related to the question of the viability and solidity of the nation-state projects put in place since the independence of these countries.

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