Investigating the ‘War on Terror’ programme in Africa‏

CALL FOR STORY PROPOSALS: The ‘War on Terror’ (WoT) programme purports to sniff out, hunt and neutralise perpetrators of armed non-governmental attacks in countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Kenya and Somalia. Among  known movements who have claimed responsibility for such attacks are Boko Haram in Nigeria, AQIM and Salafists in Mali, and Al Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia.Due to overwhelming interest from members, and following the 2012 regional conference in Nairobi titled ‘War on Terror in East Africa: security, elections and transparency’, FAIR hereby issues a call for story proposals to carry out a Transnational Investigation into the ‘War on Terror’ military programme in Africa.

US military divisions Africom and Afrisom are conducting spying, security, and direct military activity -through drones and military partnerships with local governments- to fight the aforementioned movements. At the time of writing this, ECOWAS and France are directly involved in the conflict in Mali.

FAIR members have reported that most citizens of the affected countries – of whichever religion – are against terrorism and indeed any violent action. At the same time, they report that many citizens have grievances relating to social injustice issues, and that such grievances may cause rebellion.

To investigate the ‘War on Terror’ in Africa, the following four questions seem central.

1. Is there in fact terror or is there a mix of social grievances, religious disagreement, rebellion and armed activity?

2. Is the military response from governments and the West in what is called the ‘War on Terror’ helping to combat and reduce violence?

3. What is the role of local governments?

4. Who are the powerful individual players on both sides of the conflict? Who funds them?

FAIR invites all MEMBERS who are interested in participating to submit story proposals in which the following questions should be answered:

1. What is the time you will need to do the story?

2. Which sources will you access (documentary and human)

3. What own observation do you plan to assemble and how do you plan to
record them (film/photography)

4. Which databases do you plan to mine and what tools do you plan to
use to do this?

5. How will you avoid confirmation bias (i.e. how will you ensure that
you do not ignore data that might contradict your hypothesis?)

6. What is your minimum outcome story?

Only story plans that answer the above six points will be considered.

The FAIR Commissioning Editor, in consultation with FAIR director, Board, regional mentors and partners, will assemble the investigative team on the basis of the most viable story plans per region and country. The team can consist of 8 members.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Thursday 2 May 2013.

Proposals should be sent to and copied to

We look forward to your participation.


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