World Press Photo 2022

Africa Long-term Projects

For decades, the rural population of southern and western Madagascar have faced violence and the daily theft of their zebu, highly prized humped cattle, by groups of men called dahalo (which roughly translates as “bandits”). Zebu are used in dowry payments, rituals, and are much valued for their meat. Since the 1970s, mounting economic inequality and a food crisis exacerbated zebu theft and violence, with frequent deadly clashes between rural communities and groups of dahalo. Government intervention against zebu theft has been harsh, and in 2014, Amnesty International accused Malagasy security forces of indiscriminate acts of violence

Sergeant Stephane, a commander in the Regiment of Intervention Forces (RFI) taking a fighting pose in Betroka, southern Madagascar, on Feb 20, 2013. The RFI operates against cattle raiders in the Betroka region and the Andriry mountains. In June 2012, the government had launched Operation Tandroka in an offensive against cattle thieves in the region. Title: The Zebu War © Rijasolo, Riva Press
Security forces entering the village of Ambatotsivala, Madagascar, in an operation against cattle thieves, on June 1, 2014. Ambatotsivala and a neighbouring village, Andranondambo, had been involved in numerous retaliatory attacks, after an initial raid by men from Ambatotsivala to steal. © Rijasolo, Riva Press
Etosoa Mihary (left) and Tsiry Tam (right), inhabitants of the village of Ambatotsivala, considered by the authorities to be a zebu-raiding village, standing after being arrested on suspicion of the murder of an inhabitant of neighbouring village in Amboasary Sud, Madagascar, on June 3, 2014. © Rijasolo, Riva Press

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