Showing posts with label Senegal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senegal. Show all posts

Monday, September 04, 2023

Media Review: Africa's French-backed governments are falling one after the other, is Senegal Next?

    Monday, September 04, 2023   No comments

Der Spiegel asked the same question: Another pro-French regime is shaking... Will Senegal be next?

The German newspaper "Der Spiegel" indicated that France Afrique's regime had reached the stage of its demise, expecting that Senegal, located in western Africa, and France's last remaining partner in the region, would be the next country to turn against French exploitation of it.

The newspaper said that young people in Senegal "are moving away from France, because they are tired of the clique surrounding President Macky Sall," noting that "he will not run for re-election next year."

The newspaper pointed out that the Senegalese view Sal as a French puppet, and a key element in France's policies in Africa.

And it used to be that the close relations between the candidate and Paris helped in the elections, so that the newspaper indicated that these relations almost guarantee the failure of the ballot boxes in the West African region.

Since last June, the Senegalese opposition has staged mass protests, primarily against the criminal conviction of its leader, Ousmane Sonko, with thousands taking to the streets earlier this month.

The marches have sometimes turned violent, with several people killed since the protests began. Far from simply showing support for Sonko, the demonstrators also targeted French supermarket chains and service stations of French oil giant Total.

And the German newspaper "Der Spiegel" revealed that in European diplomatic circles, there is "a fair amount of ambiguity about the French approach."

In this regard, one of the diplomats said that "Paris does not have mechanisms to deal with the current rejection of everything that is French," stressing that the member states of the European Union have failed to agree on a common position.

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Sunday, June 04, 2023

Senegal: dead in protests after the prison sentence of the opposition leader

    Sunday, June 04, 2023   No comments

After Senegalese opposition figure Osman Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for "corrupting the youth", the Senegalese capital, Dakar, and a number of regions are witnessing violence.

On Thursday, the capital of Senegal, Dakar, and a number of regions witnessed violence after a criminal court sentenced opposition leader Osman Sonko, a candidate for the 2024 presidential elections, to two years in prison on charges of “corrupting the youth” and acquitted him of rape charges against him.

Two police officials told "Agence France Presse" that 3 people were killed during demonstrations in Ziguinchor (south), noting that a policeman was stoned to death by young men on the outskirts of Dakar, and no official confirmed this information publicly.

In the evening, it was noted that there were restrictions that greatly impeded access to social networking sites.

"This situation is similar" to what Senegal witnessed in 2021 of bloody violence, "and it is likely to greatly limit people's ability to communicate," NetBlocks, an internet monitoring organization, told AFP.

Attorney Ousmane Thiam, who attended the hearing, explained that “corrupting the youth,” which includes hiring or encouraging the employment of a person under the age of 21, is a misdemeanor under Senegalese law, not a crime like rape.

Sonko would have been stripped of his electoral rights if he had been convicted in absentia of a crime such as rape.

However, the reclassification of the facts as a misdemeanor still under the electoral law appears to threaten Sonko's eligibility and ability to run for president in 2024.

Sonko came third in the 2019 elections.

Sonko, who did not attend the trial and took refuge in the south of the country, confirms that this case is a conspiracy orchestrated by the president, who denies this.

Since February 2021, when the alleged rape case hit the headlines, Sonko has been fighting a battle in the judiciary and the political arena to ensure his survival against President Macky Sall.

About 20 civilians have been killed since 2021 in disturbances largely related to his status, and the authority and his camp exchange accusations in this regard.

Senegal, which is considered a relatively stable country in a turbulent region despite some political problems, witnessed new clashes between Sonko's supporters and the security forces linked to his trial and then his return from the south of the country to Dakar on Friday.

He was able to mobilize the youth, but he was arrested on Sunday and forcibly returned to his home in the capital, where he was kept in the midst of a heavy police presence. Since then, the police have responded with tear gas or even arrest for any attempt to approach him.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Sonko announced that he was "detained" and called on Senegalese to demonstrate "in abundance".

Young men attacked and looted the homes of members of the republican camp. The response came with reprisals against the property of members of the opposition and Sonko's party.

President Sall promised, on Wednesday, firmness in the face of violence and decided to start a "national dialogue" that is supposed to reduce tension.

It is noteworthy that Sonko (48 years) is the head of the "Bastef" party and the leader of the opposition in Senegal, and he condemns the exploitation of the judiciary and making it a tool to achieve political ends. He also gives speeches stressing politics and belonging to Africa, and attacks elites and corruption.

He also criticizes the economic and political domination exercised by France and multinational corporations, and defends religious and traditional values, knowing that he is very popular among young people in Senegal.


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