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Republic of Senegal

Senegal is the next African country in Russia's crosshairs




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Opposition politician Sonko does not hide his ties and sympathies for Russia. Worrying news for Senegal: the Russians are sending their private armed groups into the country, as they did in Mali and Burkina Faso, in anticipation of the presidential elections.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

The next presidential elections in Senegal, scheduled for February 24, 2024, risk taking place in a scenario reminiscent of the coups in Burkina Faso and Mali. This hypothesis stems from frank allusions made by pro-Russian influencers. In particular, Kemi Seba declared on his YouTube channel:

“You saw that things have changed in Mali, we have greatly contributed to it.” And he continues: “Soon Alassane Ouattara…” Or even that of Senegal: “soon Macky Sall. I'm going to Russia in a few days. »

Today, Senegal is one of five West African countries not to have experienced a coup d'état since its independence from France in 1960 and is generally considered a relatively stable democracy. It is worth taking a close look at what exactly Russian private armies are bringing to African countries at the end of their bayonets. Since the Soviet era, Moscow has actively encouraged anti-colonial sentiment in Africa, taking advantage of real problems arising in relations with the former metropolises. Indeed, these relationships are often difficult and painful. But can Russia offer Africans better relations? Is it seeking anything other than access to natural resources, cheap labour and the expansion of its influence through the puppet regimes it controls?

Russia itself is a cruel and bloodthirsty empire that despises colonized peoples, condemning them to poverty, humiliation and loss of identity. Can Russia do anything other than colonize neighbouring lands, kill those who disagree, and exploit its colonies? As the war in Ukraine clearly shows, Russian imperialism is no better than Western imperialism, and perhaps even worse, because it brings a lot of blood, destruction and savagery.

And in Africa, what have Russian weapons brought to the Central African Republic and Mali? Did the populations, thanks to the intervention of Wagner's troops, live more prosperously, in peace and tranquillity? Has the change of government in these countries, orchestrated by the Russians, brought an improvement? Nothing is less sure. The African continent has seen an obvious increase in the number of coups d'état over the last three years, accompanied by armed raids in Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, Chad and Mali. In each case, the rebellions were not without the involvement of Russian mercenaries. According to Kemi Seba, Nathalie Yamb, Franklin Niamsy and other pro-Russian influencers, the Kremlin is preparing to indirectly intervene also in the elections in Senegal, to facilitate a change of power in the republic.

The regime of the current president of Senegal, Macky Sall, is not ideal. The fact that one of the main opposition leaders, Ousmane Sonko, is being held behind bars on the eve of the elections is a clear indication of the absence of democratic standards. This is what both the Senegalese opposition and Western human rights defenders emphasize. But today it is very important to look further. The mobilization of the opposition for the release of Sonko could provoke mass unrest and plunge the country into chaos and a wave of violence that goes in the direction of the interests of Russian private armies. What is this interest? It is imposing on those in power people who are compatible with Russia's appetites. Let us recall what happened in Mali, Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic. Russian flags on armoured personnel carriers brought these countries not freedom, but blood and disaster.


Is Ousmane Sonko the man the Russians need today? There is no certainty on this subject.

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