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Senegal: Pan-African Mayor renamed streets named after French colonial officers to Charroye 44 victims

Ousman Sonko, a young Pan-African politician and recently elected Mayor of Ziguinchor, a region in Southern Senegal is viewed by many as a hope for new Africa. Barely a month after his victory, Sonko has done something that three Senegalese Presidents failed to do since Independence.

The revered Pan-African politician has boldly renamed avenues named after French Military officers who contributed to the massacre of African Commandos who helped rescue France from the German tribal forces in 1944. “The remaining of these streets more than six years after independence is an offense to our national dignity” Sonko stated.

The mayor renamed Capitaine Javelier Avenue to Tirailleur African (African Sharpshooters) Avenue and Lieutenant Lemoine street was changed to Charroye 44 Street all in honor of our African commandos who were betrayed by France after they saved Europe in 1945. Street named after French General and former leader, Charles de Gaulle was also thrashed out and renamed Peace Street. Finally, a street named after France was also renamed African Union Street.

Many Senegalese applauded the moves as General De Gaulle hurt, used and betrayed African Sharpshooters thus, honoring him on African streets is an utter disrespect to the Tirailleurs and a symbolism of colonial mentality.

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Ousman Sonko is the leader of the opposition PASTEF party and former presidential candidate in the 2019 election in Senegal. The Pan African anti-imperialism political advocate is currently viewed as the only genuine political force left in the opposition in Senegal to face incumbent Macky who is rumored to be interested in a third term bid.

In his first presidential contest, in the 2019 election, the 46 years old former tax official finished third, which saw President Macky Sall win a second term in office. Sonko decided to run for Mayor as Macky Sall but still remained the leader of his anti-imperial party.  Senegalese viewed him as the person who would finally liberate the country from all forms of imperialism. 

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