2012 is starting bad in West Africa, with significant threats against stability and democracy in Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.
Although the cases are very different, the recent attitude of Senegalese politicians bears a striking ressemblance to Cote d’Ivoire in 1995 or 2010, Kenya in 2007 or Zimbabwe in 2008. It is sad to see that the 85 year-old Abdoulaye Wade is trying to hold on by any means to power in a country which held democracy as its pride.
Read President Wade vs. the people: Senegal is in danger by Arame Tall for a very good overview of the situation.
‘Our Nation is going down that very ugly familiar lane…
Where we know only the start but not where it will lead.’
To all reading this, Senegal is in need of prayers today. Prayers to prevent us from going down that very ugly familiar lane where Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Kenya and a host of other African states preceded us… Down the ugly lane of pre-electoral violence.
No-one knows where today’s events will lead us to, and who will be thinking to avenge the dead today. Mbour, home of the killed University student, is in shock. Podor is still burying its two dead from the weekend’s riots. The security forces buried the young officer Fodé Ndiaye on Saturday. All Senegalese lives lost in the run-up to power… Violence only begets violence.
Whether nearly 100-year old President Wade comes to his senses and quells the ongoing violence with a declaration that he will withdraw his candidacy to the upcoming election, or whether the blazing electorate decides to peacefully return to their homes, and rather goes to vote en masse on February 26 to oust Wade through the ballot rather than the streets, proving the vitality of Senegalese democracy, Senegal’s hard conquered peace and stability of the past 50 years sits on a thin thread today.
The hour is grave.
The nation of Senegal is in need of prayers today.