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Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
Dakar, Senegal

Crisis Group Role

Rinaldo Depagne is West Africa Project Director at International Crisis Group, where he coordinates and oversees the research of a group of analysts in seven countries. He was previously the organisation’s Senior Analyst for Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Before joining Crisis Group in 2008, Rinaldo worked as a journalist, specialising for the past 25 years in Africa and, in particular, West Africa. He has worked for various French newspapers and international radio stations and TV channels, including the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Canal +. He spent fifteen years of his life in West Africa, living in Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal and travelling in most of the Ecowas countries.

Areas of Expertise

  • The relations between France and Africa
  • The geopolitics and politics of West Africa
  • Armed groups and violence in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Burkina Faso civilizations
  • History and current political transition and the Greater Sahel current issues

In The News

25 Jun 2018
More people to feed means more agricultural settlement and less available land and water for herders. All of this tend to trigger more and more disputes [between farmers and semi-nomadic herders in Nigeria]. Reuters

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
6 Mar 2018
In Burkina Faso, the intelligence system did not rest on an institution but on the shoulders of one man, General Gilbert Diendere. We know that some of the 566 soldiers have joined jihadist groups. AFP

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
22 Nov 2017
The idea of the leader who stays on for 30 or 40 years is less and less accepted in Africa. [However, the regime change in Zimbabwe] does not necessarily mean more democracy. AFP

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
5 Oct 2017
[The borderlands between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso are] becoming a new permanent hotbed of violence. This shows the level of organisation of these [insurgent] groups and also their confidence. Reuters

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
9 Feb 2017
The problem with the army [in Côte d'Ivoire] is structural disorder that can’t be sorted out with the punctual signing of cheques, even if the cheques are big. Financial Times

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa
4 Dec 2016
For some women trapped in domestic life, Boko Haram offers an escape. But this reflects a huge abyss of desperation among women and a failure of society in the northeast [of Nigeria]. Reuters

Rinaldo Depagne

Project Director, West Africa

Latest Updates

Commentary / Africa

Burkina Faso’s Alarming Escalation of Jihadist Violence

Attacks on the Burkina Faso army headquarters and the French Embassy on 2 March 2018 were better organised, involved heavier weapons and were more sustained than anything seen so far in Burkina Faso. In this Q&A, our West Africa Project Director Rinaldo Depagne says the jihadist assault further exposes worrying weakness in the Burkinabé security forces.

Also available in Français
Op-Ed / Africa

Côte d’Ivoire: The Illusion of Stability

Among the three principal politicians who have struggled for power in Côte d’Ivoire since 1995, President Alassane Ouattara, 73, is the only one still in the game and is most likely to win the presidential election on 25 October. The significance of this election is not so much the electoral outcome – which seems to be a foregone conclusion – as much as the political choices that will result from a renewed Ouattara mandate. Without meaningful political, security and judicial reforms, Côte d’Ivoire could face yet another prolonged period of violence.

Originally published in Daily Maverick