Kaolack (Senegal) (AFP) Some spent years working in Italy. Others dreamed of getting to Europe but never even made it as far as Libya. Today, they are among a small number of Senegalese who have turned away from the allure of migration and instead are part of a new generation of farmers at home. Pape Samba Diane, 45, spent five years working in agriculture and in a factory in Italy’s Brescia region — the dream of thousands of fellow Senegalese, many of whom risk the dangerous journey through the SaharaRead More
Dakar (AFP) A Senegalese court on Thursday delayed the trial of popular Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall on charges of embezzling public funds until January 3, as his lawyers denounced a “hasty” start to proceedings. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($3.3 million, 2.8 million euros) — a charge he denies and which backers say is politically motivated. The court’s president Maguette Diop called a special hearing for January 3, after ordering Sall’s supporters to calm down after they packed the courtroom to catch a glimpse of aRead More
Dakar (AFP) A lawyer for Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall,detained since March on corruption charges, on Friday said the prosecutor’s office had ordered his trial to begin next week, despite pending appeals. Sall is accused of misappropriating 1.83 billion CFA francs ($2.85 million, 2.7 million euros) of city funds — a charge which he denies and which supporters say is politically motivated. Lawyer Demba Cire Bathily told AFP on Friday that his client had received a “subpoena to appear on Thursday before the court… while certain procedures are still underway,” addingRead More
Diass (Sénégal) (AFP) Senegal opens a flagship new airport on Thursday seven years later than originally planned but with ambitions to become a west African regional hub with a capacity for three million passengers. President Macky Sall will cut the ribbon at Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) at midday (1200 GMT) in the town of Diass, 47 kilometres (29 miles) from the capital of Dakar, while a plane from new airline Air Senegal will make the first symbolic takeoff. Work began in 2007 on the 645 million-euro ($767 million) airportRead More
Diass (Sénégal) (AFP) Senegal’s president opened a flagship new airport on Thursday seen as the central plank of government plans to boost the economy and create a west African regional hub. President Macky Sall toured the brand new Blaise Diagne International Airport accompanied by several west African heads of state in the town of Diass, 47 kilometres (29 miles) from the capital of Dakar, while a plane from new airline Air Senegal is expected make the first symbolic takeoff this afternoon. Sall’s supporters gathered in their thousands to celebrate theRead More
Dakar (AFP) Senegal’s national assembly has lifted the parliamentary immunity of Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall, a leading opponent of President Macky Sall, opening the way for his trial on graft charges. The mayor has been in pre-trial detention since March on what his supporters say are politically-motivated charges. After a raucous debate, the deputies late on Saturday voted by 125 to 27 to back a report by a parliamentary commission calling for Sall’s immunity to be lifted. Earlier Saturday, security forces fired tear gas to break up a demonstration ofRead More
Dakar (AFP) Regime change in Africa may not guarantee greater democracy but, as Robert Mugabe’s downfall shows, patience for autocrats who overstay their welcome is wearing ever thinner, experts say. After 37 years of outmanoeuvring his political enemies, Mugabe was finally cornered on Tuesday and handed in his resignation, announced by the Speaker at a special joint session of parliament. The army, his own party and his angry citizens combined to form a stranglehold on the 93-year-old leader from which he could no longer escape, ushering in a transition that,Read More
Saint Louis (Senegal) (AFP) The echo of Koranic verse from a religious school in Senegal’s Saint-Louis is familiar, but just metres down the beach classes have fallen silent in another building abandoned to the ravages of climate change. Listed in 2000 as a UNESCO world heritage site, Saint Louis has fallen into disrepair, and without urgent intervention more than 300 years of colonial history could be lost. Beautifully coloured buildings with colonial facades line the streets of the city, once known as “Africa’s Venice”, but on closer inspection many areRead More
Dakar (AFP) The recently launched G5 Sahel force must ensure human rights are respected as it combats jihadists and criminals in this troubled swathe of Africa, officials say, to avoid further radicalisation of the population. The five-nation counterterrorism force has completed its first operation in a zone covering the border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, all of which face an Islamist insurgency that has tacit support in areas where a state presence is near absent. Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, said abuses under the guiseRead More
Dakar (AFP) African leaders called this week for an overhaul in the way peacekeeping missions are handled on the continent, as the United Nations itself reconsiders its deployments in an age of cross-border terrorism. Eight of the UN’s 15 peacekeeping missions are based in Africa, and several are beset by problems relating to insufficient equipment and mandates ill-suited to the countries in which they operate, while some are accused of abuses against the local population. These UN deployments are involved in some of the world’s most entrenched conflicts, from rebelRead More