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Senegal, anti-neoliberal protests

Adebusuyi I. Adeniran


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Senegal and French Sudan jointly declared independence from France on June 20, 1960, together creating the Mali Federation. Senegal then gained complete independence on August 20, 1960, with Léopold (Sédar) Senghor as its first president. Amidst persistent protests (especially from workers and students) occasioned by scorching economic decline and unrelenting insistence on political reforms from the people, Senghor relinquished power in 1980 and his prime minister, Abdou Diouf, assumed the presidency on the platform of the Parti Socialiste (PS). Aside from the immediate challenges posed by the secessionist group Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC) from the southern part of the country, Diouf's government had to contend with escalating public unrest engendered by student disorder and a sustained sequence of workers' strikes. Upon the declaration of Diouf as the winner of the 1988 presidential elections, violent demonstrations occurred in Dakar and its suburbs. This led to the incarceration of prominent figures of the opposition party, the Parti Démocra tique Sénégalais (PDS), including its leader, Abdoulaye Wade, who had alleged irregularities during the elections. Violence unleashed on the southern part of the country by the MFDC insurgents, and counteroffensives from the military, resulted in the deaths of nearly 2,000 people and the eventual imposition ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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