Macky Sall and Casamance   Leave a comment

The long awaited run-off election in Senegal happened on 25 March 2012.

Senegalese, West Africans, and Africanists from around the world held their breathe.

And then, Mightly Allah had spoken and Sall marked victory. But we still held our breathe, as we awaited Wade’s response.

At last, Wade did respond, and positively, as reports came in that he had actually called Sall to congratulate him on the win. Keeping Senegal stable as the West African hub is necessary, and Wade could not afford to tarnish his beloved country’s reputation, especially being the only West African country to have not been toppled by a coup. Let’s just hope Wade and his son will stay away from politics, as we do not want anything like another Zimbabwe to happen.

I know many are hopeful for Sall regarding Senegal as a whole, but I am more focused on Sall and Casamance. I’ll give two reasons.

  1. During the campaign process in February, Wade visited the region of Casamance in attempt to ‘woo’ the people of the region. Will Sall do something similar? Yes, subsequent to his victory he stated that Casamance is a key issue during his presidency. His actions, thus far, are to meet with the leaders of The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau to discuss the conflict in Casamance and its affect on the two countries, as Casamance borders both The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau (and these countries house refugees from Casamance as well). This is a good sign.
  2. Macky is a Fula! I believe Wade is a Wolof – a group which dominates Senegal and that has been encroaching on traditional Casamance land and traditions for many years. The main ethnic groups of Casamance are Diola and Peul (Jola or Fula – in English), and are minority groups in the rest of Senegal. Even though Sall was raised as a Serer and Wolof, his father is a Fula. Will he address the conflict in Casamance thus assisting his fellow Fula sisters and brothers? Will he go back to his Fulani roots?

With Sall’s recognition and swift action thus far to address the issues regarding Casamance, this is good for my professional career, and not Senegal’s Ministry of Scientific Research are more apt to approve my research proposal (not the mention the peaceful election results will allow the U.S. State Department to lift travel bands to Senegal). I’d love to have a chance to speak with Sall in Pulaar upon my arrival to Senegal to discuss his plan to address the conflict as well as my research to proposal an alternative to peacebuilding in Casamance.

Congratulations Senegal.

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Posted March 28, 2012 by Travis Warrington in Conflict

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