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 current population of Senegal is 16,743,938. 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 of corruption.
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.
According to thereligionfaqs, 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.