Saturday, December 24, 2011

Demonstrations in Dakar

A friend was concerned about our safety here after hearing a report about some violence  that did take place (and did result in a fatality). While we received the following announcement from the US Embassy -  I've added an article too about the reason - Manning and I with the boys went about our day on Friday, Dec 23rd - so we figure - seemed no more safe/unsafe than what we read about for  "Occupy Oakland" or "UC Campus Protests" back home that took a turn back in October? While we were not necessarily rushing to see the action (and it's prudent for us to be registered with the Embassy to receive such notices) - it was a distance from where we live - we are also not letting this keep us captured in our apartment. 

It's all relative but activism is alive and well! 
U.S Embassy Dakar, Senegal Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
SUBJECT: Planned Demonstrations for Friday, December 23 December 22, 2011 This message is to inform U.S. citizens in Senegal of upcoming demonstrations in Dakar. On Friday, December 23, both pro and opposition political parties have planned political rallies in Dakar. The location for the pro-government rally is on the Voie de Deggement Nord (VDN) at the Parti Democratique Senegalais (PDS) headquarters. It is currently scheduled for 3 p.m. The opposition has also scheduled a rally for 3 p.m. at the Place d’Obelisque. Large crowds are expected in the area of PDS headquarters on the VDN. The VDN is likely to be closed to traffic either officially or due to the sheer volume of people by early afternoon. The crowds at Place d’Obelisque are expected to be smaller, but the area will be extremely congested. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid planned demonstration areas.. U.S. citizens should also continue to exercise caution when travelling on the Corniche and Rue de Ouakam in the area of the university as students continue to conduct periodic protests. Student demonstrators have shown a willingness to block traffic, clash with police, and damage passing vehicles. While most demonstrations in Senegal are non-violent, the potential for violence exists, particularly in this period prior to the planned Presidential elections in February 2012. U.S. citizens should avoid political gatherings and alter routes to avoid planned demonstration areas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to stay current with media coverage of local events, and practice good situational awareness while moving about Senegal at all times. U.S. citizens should modify travel plans to account for protests and/or ensuing delays in affected areas.
Senegal president to run for 3rd term
Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:30PM GMT

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's ruling party has announced that he will run for a third term in the coming presidential elections amid criticism of his spending policy.

On Friday, the Senegalese Democratic Party announced Wade's nomination in the elections, which has been scheduled for February 2012, during a special meeting in the capital Dakar.

He was first elected president in 2000 and was reelected in 2007 to office for five years after a constitutional reform shortened the presidential term by two years.

Later in the day, June 23 Movement (M23), a coalition of activists and political groups, organized a protest rally in the capital, where thousands of demonstrators marched to a square against the candidacy.

The protesters carried signs bearing slogans such as “Wade Go Away,” 'Against Violation of the Constitution,' and “Rise Up Against the High Cost of Living.”

The opposition Socialist Party also expressed discontent with the announcement, which came one day after one person was killed in a politically-motivated clash in the capital.

According to the party's spokesman Abdoulaye Wilane, five vehicles filled with armed Wade supporters attacked one of the party's local councils in Dakar on Thursday. The leader of the party's youth wing, Barthelemy Dias, “returned fire” and caused the fatality, but was acting in 'self-defense.'

The Senegalese media criticize Wade for excessive spending, while the country experiences 'poverty and inequality.'

He, however, has also been credited with building roads, an airport, and other key elements of infrastructure.



  1. Prudent advice. I wonder if you guys were just too curious to stay away....

    1. ds - as you know while we stayed away - it was much time later that it all came to our front door - it's been an amazing turn of events here. thanks for always posting.