Senegal. During the spring, hundreds of Senegalese were expelled from France, where they had been living illegally. Several of them were deported under humiliating forms and carried handcuffs when they arrived in Dakar. According to Countryaah.com, Senegal Independence Day is April 4. Senegalese authorities responded in June with the expulsion of some thirty French citizens accused of living in the country without a permit.
Several violent attacks on opposition politicians outraged the Senegalese. In October, the outspoken opposition politician Talla Sylla was beaten by perpetrators who, according to witnesses, came from the circle of President Abdoulaye Wade. However, no one was arrested for the act.
In early November, thousands of people gathered in Dakar to protest against rising political violence. A man was sentenced in September to death for the murder of a soldier in the early 1990s. The death penalty is unusual in Senegal and no one has been executed since 1967.
The unrest continued in Casamance in the south, where the separatist movement MFDC (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance) fought for independence. A French journalist was expelled in October after interviewing an MFDC leader who opposed peace talks with the government. She was accused of trying to sabotage the peace process. Later, another leader of the MFDC claimed that the conflict was over, but much indicated that he did not have the support of more hardline factions within the movement.
In December, Amnesty International called on the government to bring those responsible for 180 cases of disappearance in Casamance 1992–2001 to trial. According to the human rights organization, the government army was behind 100 disappearances, while the MFDC committed the other 80.
At least 140 migrants are said to have died in a boat accident
At least 140 people die when the boat they are traveling in a wildfire sinks off the coast of Senegal near the city of Saint-Louis. About 60 people are rescued by Spanish and Senegalese naval vessels and fishing boats. The boat with about 200 migrants is on its way to the Canary Islands when the accident occurs. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), this is the sinking this year that has claimed the most lives. The number of migrants trying to get to the Canary Islands has quadrupled in 2020 compared to the year before. So far this year, about 11,000 people have managed to get there. The information is later questioned by the Senegalese Interior Ministry, which says that two rescue operations were carried out in the past week, but that no fatalities had been discovered then. However, Senegalese fishing boats have reported that six bodies have been found floating in the water.
President Sall dissolves the government
President Macky Sall dissolves the government. At the same time, he dismisses four ministers by decree. Among other things, two heavyweights from his own party, the Alliance for the Republic (APR), are allowed to leave. In addition, Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dione, a former prime minister who has long been close to the president. He gives no reason for the changes.
Muslim celebration is canceled because of corona
One of Senegal’s largest fraternities, Tidjania, decides to cancel the traditional celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth in the city of Tivouane, about 90 miles east of the capital Dakar, due to the corona pandemic. The celebration called gamou has been going on every year since 1902. The fraternity encourages people to celebrate this in their homes instead.
France on the way to return items to Senegal and Benin
The French National Assembly unanimously votes in favor of France returning art objects stolen from Senegal and Benin during colonial times. For Senegal, this is especially true of a saber that belonged to a Muslim sheikh Omar Saidou Tall 1798–1864. The object officially belongs to the army museum in Paris, but has been on loan to Dakar since the autumn of 2019.