April 13, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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“There is no well-founded fear of revolution” in the country.

“There is no well-founded fear of revolution” in the country.

What are the challenges for France and its presence in Africa?

Curiously

The opposition announces a break in relations with France, do we have more information about this program and is Russian influence expected in the event of an opposition victory?

Anne Onyime

Hello Curious, Hello Anne Onim,

Senegal is one of West Africa's heavyweights politically and economically, and this former colony has historically been a key ally of France. As I explained to another reader just now, Senegal is only important to France, with Paris losing its influence over the years and becoming non-grata in some countries in the region. Additionally, according to the French Embassy, ​​more than 22,000 French people have settled in Senegal.

Relations between the two countries have been somewhat strained of late. Marine Le Pen's visit to Dakar in 2023 did not go down well with the French authorities (more info here); Also, Macky Sall, when he was the current head of the African Union, raised doubts about its international alliances during a resolution condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine at the United Nations in 2022.

In general, many African countries are diversifying their partnerships. This also applies to Senegal, so it is not a prerogative of a camp. Ousmane Sonko's party, which is running Bassirou Diomaye Faye in the election, did not say it would sever its ties with France. He makes a pan-Africanist speech and says he is open to many alliances, including with Russia.

You can re-read his interview with Goomba Kane here.