Editorial & Business
The Press Benghazi
Drapeau des rebelles - Patrick Baz / AFP
Christian Streib (CNN) – Patrick Baz / AFP
Sara Hussein (AFP), Olympe Naularris – Patrick Baz / AFP
Karim Talbi (AFP)
Départ dans la bétaillère
Fred Larfargue ( Newsweek), Christophe Ayad (France 24)
Alfred Yaghobzadeh (Sipa press) dort à la ferme d'Al-Marj
Mehdi Lebouachera (AFP)
Sara Hussein, Mehdi Lebouachera (AFP)
Mehdi Lebouachera (AFP) à la station service
Arwa Damon (CNN)
Sara Hussein (AFP)
Eric Bouvet (VII) et « son » char.
Karim Talbi (AFP) à la dépéche
Mehdi Lebouachera, Sara Hussein (AFP)
Olivier Laban Mattei (Neus – Polaris)
Sara Hussein (AFP) se bouche les oreilles
Patrick Baz en Lawrence d’Arabie
It’s a slice of the lives of the war correspondants in Libya that we are publishing execptionally in spite of the weak definition of the photographs. It’s Patrick Baz, special correspondant photographer for the Agence France Presse (AFP/Getty Images) who gave us his log book in images.
Everything is happening between Benghazi, capital for the rebels, and Ras Lanouf, the principal oil town, on a route between the Mediterranean sea and the Sahara desert. The rebels had initially advanced, then retreated all the way back to Benghazi when the military tanks of Moammar Gaddafi reached it on the eve of March 17th. In the evening of the same day, the UN Security Council stated being in favor of taking measures against pro-Gaddafi troops and opening the path to possible aerial attacks.
The photo of Christian Streib of CNN was taken in Benghazi the evening of the vote of the UN, writes Patrick Baz. On March 19th, Nicolas Sarkozy launches an international military intervention. It was incredible to see the French flags everywhere in the city. People were all around me as if I was a trophy when I said I was French. We had to flee Benghazi in a cattle truck with our colleagues from the BBC and France 24, while the first tanks of Gaddafi were making their way into the city. We were welcomed in a village by a tribe. The head of the tribe then told me : “French pilots are flying over our heads as we speak, protecting us, therefore I must do the same with you.”
We spent the night in the farm at Al-Marj, 100 km to the east of Benghazi; and the next day our hosts escorted us in order to return to Benghazi.
Thanks to the aerial coverage of the intervention forces, the rebel forces took the offensive. The photos of Sara Hussein and Mehdi Lebouachera of the AFP and those of myself with my sunglasses in the style of Laurence of Arabia were taken on the site that was bombed by the French army at the exit of Ajdabiya. We were pratically out of gas in the middle of the desert when Mehdi had to brave the crowds at a gas station, full of people due to the gas shortage, and returned happily with a jerry can.
The young rebels go to the frontline often with bare hands or with knives. Sometimes they have a rocket in their hand, an empty charger, or are equipped with arms often useless. Certain ones had recuperated periscopes on armored vehicules; others had SAM7 missiles without batteries that they used to shoot the tanks with. I saw several RPG used against planes.
We have all established that the rebels would not stop shooting in the air, for nothing! These are afficionados of shooting in the air, but seem incapable of aiming horizontally. They never learned how to use an arm. Sara Hussein (AFP) protects her ears: these incessant shots of joy give off a dreadful racket. Further away, an old rusted T55 tank stirred the curiousity of Eric Bouvet (VII), the rebels had patched it up with protective plates welded together. The accoutrement and the behavior of the rebels gives the impression that they’re coming straight out of the film Mad Max. The ambiance is incredible, even at the moment of their retreat, in complete defeat and in complete disarray, they were making signs of victory. It was almost impossible to take a picture without a V in the frame.
I would also like to say that in this venture, Dave Clark and Roberto Schmidt were very much missed.
Dave Clark and Roberto Schmidt, two journalists from the AFP were in fact arrested on Saturday, March 19th near Ajdabiya by the army of Gaddafi, along with Joe Raedle, photographer from Getty Images. They were liberated during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Tripoli.
Propos Patrick Baz / AFP, interview by Michel Puech