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Sira Thierij

Dakar, Senegal
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About Sira
Sira is an independent journalist based in Dakar, Senegal, covering West Africa and beyond for anglophone and German media. She has over five years’ experience working for international news organisations across two dozen countries, including in hostile environments. Sira shoots and edits video, produces documentaries and reports for radio. 

Prior to moving to West Africa, Sira worked as a staff foreign news producer and video journalist for BBC bureaux around the world, including in Brussels, Nairobi and Kyiv where she produced breaking news and investigations for the BBC’s flagship TV, radio and digital programmes. She’s worked at the frontlines of the war in Ukraine, covered the famine in Madagascar and has led investigations that were quoted by the UN Security Council, brought to the British High Court and been shortlisted for prestigious awards. 

Her work focuses on documenting climate change, migration, humanitarian crises, human interest and conflict across West Africa and beyond.

Sira is HEFAT-trained and fluent in English, German, French and Dutch. She holds a master’s degree in International Security and Journalism from Sciences Po Paris and is currently a fellow of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network.
German English French
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment

The Perilous Atlantic Migrant Route from Senegal to the Canary Islands

15 Aug 2023  |  SoundCloud
The article discusses the perilous journey that migrants from Senegal are undertaking to reach Spain's Canary Islands via the Atlantic route. It highlights the alarming number of fatalities and disappearances, with almost 800 reported in the first half of the year, as stated by a Spanish NGO. This route is noted as one of the most dangerous for migrants globally. Despite the risks, the article points out that many young people from Senegal are repeatedly attempting this crossing in search of better opportunities.

BBC News: The Ukrainian refugees sheltering with monks in a Romanian monastery Produced, filmed and edited by Sira Thierij

DW News: Thousands made their way back to South Sudan after decades of conflict displaced millions. But now they are confronted with the lurking threat of unexploded bombs that could go off at any time. Reported, filmed and edited by Sira Thierij

Why We Wrote This

09 Aug 2023  |  The Christian Science Monitor
The article discusses the critical role of women in South Sudan who are working to clear the country of unexploded munitions. Monica Achol and her colleagues, many of whom are women, are at the forefront of this dangerous task, aiming to make their country safer. The article highlights the challenges South Sudan has faced, including its fight for independence, subsequent civil wars, and the ongoing issues of poverty, ethnic rivalries, and resource tensions exacerbated by climate change. The United Nations Mine Action Service reports that explosive remnants of war have killed or injured over 5,000 people in the last decade. The Mines Advisory Group, where Achol works, and other organizations like Women for Change are mentioned as key players in the demining efforts and social change. The article also touches on the educational aspect, with risk educators teaching children about the dangers of unexploded ordnance. The goal is to remove all mines and cluster munitions by 2026, a challenging task given the daily discoveries of explosive devices.

How Senegalese fishermen try to reach Europe

20 Jul 2023  |  www.infomigrants.net
With commercial trawlers depleting fish stocks and taking away their livelihoods, hundreds of West African fishermen, particularly from Senegal, attempt the perilous journey across the Atlantic to reach Europe each year. The report highlights the dangerous conditions and the preparations of those planning their next attempt.

MI5 agent used secret status to terrorise girlfriend

05 Apr 2023  |  www.bbc.com
The article reports on an MI5 agent who abused his partner, Beth, and threatened her using his secret status. Despite evidence of his right-wing extremism and violent past, his identity is protected by a court order after the government's legal action against the BBC. The agent, referred to as X, used his position to control and terrorize Beth, including sexually assaulting her and making her watch terrorist videos. He was arrested for assaulting Beth with a machete but was released when the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case due to 'lack of evidence'. The investigation reveals that X continued to work in intelligence abroad while under investigation and has a history of similar abuse in another country with a former partner, Ruth. The BBC's investigation corroborates the women's accounts with independent evidence and raises concerns about MI5's knowledge of X's behavior. The government's attempt to suppress the story was resisted by the BBC, which argued for the public's right to know to protect potential victims.

Lützerath: Greta Thunberg joins 'Pinky' and 'Brain' tunnel protest

13 Jan 2023  |  BBC News فارسی
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has condemned police actions against climate protesters in Lützerath, Germany, where activists are trying to prevent the village from being consumed by an open coal mine. The village, now owned by energy firm RWE, has become a symbol for climate activism. Despite Germany's commitment to phase out coal by 2030, the mine's expansion has sparked significant public opposition. The police operation has been controversial, especially among Germany's Greens and Social Democrats, who see it as conflicting with the country's climate goals. Two protesters, nicknamed 'Pinky' and 'Brain,' remain in a tunnel, drawing attention to the cause.

MI5 agent used secret status to terrorise girlfriend

19 May 2022  |  BBC
An MI5 agent used his status to terrorize his partner, Beth, who describes a relationship marked by extreme violence and psychological abuse. Despite evidence of his dangerous behavior, the government blocked the publication of his identity, citing national security concerns. The BBC's investigation reveals systemic failures by the police and Crown Prosecution Service in handling the case. The agent, who has a history of right-wing extremism, continued his intelligence work abroad while under investigation. Another former partner, Ruth, corroborates Beth's account, describing similar abuse. The article underscores the need for greater transparency and accountability within intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

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