Keeping an Eye on Senegal?


By Scott Morgan

Current consensus states that Senegal (in West Africa) is one of the most stable countries on the Continent. This is interesting due to its location. It surrounds Gambia which decided to oust long term incumbent Yaya Jammeh by popular vote who then had to be forced to accept the results by his neighbors.

Both Guinea and Guinea-Bissau have had their share of internal strife. Currently, there is a work action in Guinea targeting the mining sector. Guinea is a prime source of Aluminium which is where Jet Aircraft come from. Guinea-Bissau had spent time as a fiefdom of former President Jammeh and as a Narcostate. Some of the Colombian Drug Cartels were using the state as a transit point to ship their product from South America to Western Europe.

With all of these regional issues at work sometimes under the radar of some analysts just how do some groups see Senegal? In late January of 2018, the World Bank announced at an Education summit that it was going to recapitalize the projects that it currently has underway in the Country. To the layman that can be seen as a positive view of how the Stability of the country is.

Despite this there is presently a hidden challenge. There is currently an insurgency within the country. This effort is focused on the Casamance region of the Country. This region borders the aforementioned countries of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. The rebels were also supported by the Jammeh regime, in Gambia, when it suited its purpose to seek some type of influence or concession from Dakar in the past.

Recent information from sources in the region suggest that some of the rebels leadership are being held by Guinean Authorities. What the purpose is is not quite clear. It could be as simple as the authorities needing a distraction from the strikes in the mines or even some Non-State Actor is trying to preserve a route where either Narcotics, Humans or Weapons are transited through.

Another reason to monitor the situation is that, in 2019, Presidential Elections are scheduled to be run in the Country. Will the current incumbent Macky Sall be able to retain power? That is an interesting question as rumors of Qatari Money flowing into the coffers of the Wade Family as it considers a return to the Presidential Palace spread through the Country. During the week of Christmas 2017 the Emir of Qatar did make a state visit to the Country. Sadly, this may not be that much of a stretch of the imagination.

Dakar is important as it is the port where the French unload their heavy equipment for Operation Barkhane. This is the French Mission that resulted from the intervention in Mali and the support to both Niger and Burkina Faso as they also are now dealing with Islamist Insurgencies. President Macron did appear at the huge event in Dakar where not only Education was promoted but also where the World Bank recapitalization was announced.

Senegal will be an important Country to watch over the next year….


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Comments

  1. Qatari is really stretching her arms, eh? In no time we may see Jihadists in Dakar too.

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  2. "one of the most stable countries on the Continent"..... In the big picture, no doubt their current relations with Europe (research recent; L-39NG Jets sale) provide them with some security that their neighboring countries would be enviable about......that being said, for the local man / woman on the street, stability would be a very 'fluid' expression.

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