The French Media Outlet, C News France have claimed that President Emmanuel Macron of France had considered sending the French military navy to Senegal, but he later reneged on that decision, the journalists claimed in a panel discussion.
′′Macron had considered sending the French Navy to Senegal […] apparently, he put pressure on Macky to get the opposition immediately released “. The panel claimed.
The arrest of young Pan African Politician, Mr. Ousman Sonko for disturbing public order on his way to court where he was to be heard on charges of rape, has last week provoked three-day violent confrontations across Senegal, a country previously known for its stable democracy.
For Ousman Sonko supporters, the move to arrest him was a political scheme by President Macky Sall to prevent him from running for President. Senegalese have since taken on social media widely sharing an excerpt from the panel discussion while criticizing President Macron and Macky Sall.
Many Senegalese are critical of their country’s historic relationship with former colonial masters France and have last week targeted French-owned businesses such as Auchan supermarkets and Total petrol stations during the protest. They have equally accused President Macky Sall of helping France to further and solidify its economic interests in its former colony.
Historically, Senegal has been the administrative seat of the French colonial domination in Africa, and its foreign policy has been characterized by the intensification and enhancement of relations with France especially on the economic front.
France’s military presence in Africa and its economic relationship with Africa have been the subject of intense debate and criticism over the years. France, which has roughly 4,500 troops in West Africa, the most of any outside nation by far, last year revealed plans to deploy another 220 soldiers Macron announced last year.
Opposition leader, Ousman Sonko whose arrest sparked the violent protest, is well admired among the youthful population in Senegal for his political advocacy against France’s imperial domination and Senegal’s continued dependence on its former colonial masters. Sonko is also a fervent anti-corruption advocate and his ideas resonate with the youthful population, something the government of Sall and France seemingly fears.