I am Bruno Allahissem. In my thesis project, I am focusing on nomadism, conflict in the Sahel, and ethnicity. The provisional title of my study is Ouda Fulani nomadism in Chad and conflict in the Sahel: from online and offline networking to new ethnic dynamics.

Observation of the current situation of pastoral nomadism in the light of the many conflicts in the Sahel is of particular interest to this thesis project, which sets out to identify a number of significant facts relating to the social, political and identity-related constraints faced by Fulani nomads. Many Fulani pastoralists are no longer able to practice ordinary nomadism according to the principles of their way of life. They now have to practice it using security strategies to avoid falling into the traps of the many conflicts raging in the Sahel, exacerbated by politico-military conflicts. In this situation, the Fulani, try as best as they can, through online and offline networks, using the telephone service and social media, to unite their forces to fight against this crisis. The struggle involves the quest for identity and the desire to have a united Fulani community. I use the concept of ‘ethnicity’ to understand the configuration of Fulaniness influenced by the conflicts in the Sahel, and to see whether it leads to cultural violence.

From a socio-historical and ethnographic perspective, I intend to question these facts through the online and offline networks of Ouda Fulani discussions in Chad and also in the Sahel. I seek to understand, from the perspective of the Ouda Fulani, how the Fulani convey information in the face of difficulties. I therefore start from the hypothesis that Fulani nomadism is currently experiencing moments of real turmoil linked not only to climatic constraints but also to the types of conflict they are encountering.

By developing a combined approach of ethnography, netnography, computation and surveys, my project intends to investigate the upheavals in the practice of Fulani nomadism and the struggle engaged in by elites.The aim is to analyse the Fulani’s quest for identity and understand the cultural violence that this may give rise to within wider dynamics, against the backdrop of socio-political and military tensions in the Sahel.