Senegal. In January, more than 900 people were arrested
and interrogated after hotels in Burkina Faso and Mali were
attacked by Islamist terrorists. According to
countryaah, the measures were said to
have been implemented for security reasons but were not
alleged to be related to any terrorism.
In March, a shortening of the president's term in a
referendum was approved. As of the 2019 elections, the
president is allowed to sit for five years against the
previous seven. The month before, the Supreme Court rejected
the incumbent President Macky Sall's request that his term
of office also be shortened.
A shortage of goods arose in February on both sides of
the Senegal-Gambia border. The border was blocked by truck
drivers who parked their vehicles to prevent all commercial
traffic. The reason was Gambia's decision to double the fees
for trucks crossing the border. Only after negotiations
between the governments of the countries was the blockade
lifted at the end of May.
The same month, the former Chad dictator, Hissène Habré,
was sentenced to life imprisonment by a specially
established court in Senegal's capital Dakar. According to
the judgment, Habré is liable to the death of 40,000 people
during his reign in 1982-90 and he was therefore convicted
of crimes against humanity. In July, those affected by abuse
during Habré's regime were awarded compensation of
approximately SEK 300,000. The dictator appealed the verdict
but a new trial was not expected to begin until sometime in
2017. The court has been ordered by the African Union.
In June, corruption convicted Karim Wade, son of former
President Abdoulaye Wade, was pardoned by President Sall. In
October, Sall's brother, Aliou Sall, resigned as head of the
partially state-owned oil company Timis after being accused
Senegal's foreign policy
Ever since independence in 1960, Senegal has been one of
the most politically leading countries in French-speaking
Africa, and Dakar is one of the political and academic
centers in West Africa. Senegal strengthened its diplomatic
role around 2000, including being one of the initiators of
the new NEPAD development program. Senegal and Dakar were
also the center of France's colonial interests in Africa,
and the close relations between the two countries have been
maintained - politically, economically and militarily.
In 1981 Senegalese forces were deployed to strike a coup
in the Gambia. After that, the two countries formed the
Senegambia Federation, which was dissolved in 1989 without
ever really having entered into force. Senegal then accused
the Gambia of sheltering the separatist movement MFDC from
Casamance. Senegal has accused Guinea-Bissau of the same,
and there has been less clash between forces from the two
countries. Both Guinea-Bissau and Gambia have been involved
in attempts to settle the dispute.
Guinea-Bissau and Senegal have also had a border dispute
in a sea area with rich fishing resources and potentially
large gas deposits. In 1991, the International Court of
Justice upheld Senegal. During the 1998–1999 Guinea-Bissau
civil war, Senegal intervened militarily in favor of the
president-elect. Following the coup in Gambia in 1994,
deposed President Dawda Jawara was arrested in Senegal.
Senegal has also been in conflict with Mauritania, including
on grazing rights at the border. In 1999, Senegal and
Mauritania signed an agreement on joint exploitation of
fishery resources, following a conflict that threatened to
break out in war.
Senegal has contributed to peacekeeping forces in
Lebanon, Liberia, the Central African Republic and Ivory
Coast, and has participated in a French initiative on the
creation of an African military response force. Although
France has reduced its military presence in Africa, it is
maintained in Senegal.