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ANTI-CORRUPTION, HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS, PEACE AND SECURITY, POLITICAL AFFAIRS-DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE

WACSOF CONDEMNS THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN SENEGAL, DEPLORES THE DEATHS, THE DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, INVITES THE POLITICAL CLASS TO A PEACEFUL DIALOGUE AND INVITES ECOWAS TO MORE ACTION

ABUJA JUNE 02ND 2023: The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) has been monitoring the political events in SENEGAL with particular attention. WACSOF has observed for several months a continuous deterioration of the political climate which results in a radicalization of political positions, a judicialization of political relationships and a sharp rise in the level of violence in SENEGAL.

The recent violent events leading to the death of at least 09 people, following the sentencing of the political party leader of PASTEF, Mr. OUSMANE SONKO to 2 years in prison, is another episode in the series of political violence in SENEGAL. WACSOF is concerned with the reported use of live ammunition against protestors, the disproportionate use of force of security forces against protestors, the arrest and detention of several protestors by the state security forces.  WACSOF condemns the destruction of property and use of violence by protestors whilst urging the state security to respect the rights of protestors in the exercise of the duty to maintain law and order.

WACSOF presents its condolences to the families of the victims and condemns the cycle of political violence in which SENEGAL is plunged.

WACSOF wishes to recall that, additional to its obligation to respect the AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE (ACDEG), the republic of SENEGAL is signatory of the ECOWAS PROTOCOL ON DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE, especially the following excerpts:

ARTICLE 22 :

  1. The use of arms to disperse non-violent meetings or demonstrations shall be forbidden. Whenever a demonstration becomes violent, only the use of minimal and/or proportionate force shall be authorised.
  2. All cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment shall be forbidden.

ARTICLE 25: Member States agree that poverty alleviation and promotion of social dialogue are important factors for peace.

ARTICLE 36: Member States shall institutionalise a national mediation system.

In view of the foregoing and to respond to the legitimate aspirations of citizens for the right to peace, WACSOF

  1. Invites ECOWAS and the AFRICAN UNION and all partners to immediately trigger their preventive diplomacy processes, and to involve the national and regional Civil Society Organisations in them, in the spirit of the ECOWAS OF PEOPLE.
  2. Calls on the authorities and the opposition parties to demonstrate their maturity and to assume their historical responsibility before the Senegalese people and the African people to respect the legal frameworks available, to protect the citizens and to maintain a climate of peace, before, during and after the elections so that SENEGAL keeps its reputation as an island of democracy
  3. Calls on the authorities and political parties to create the required conducive environment for a frank, constructive and inclusive dialogue
  4. Calls on all parties to refrain from the use of force or violence or the destruction of property
  5. Invites civil society organizations, traditional and religious leaders to use their influence for a peaceful dialogue.
  6. Invites the Senegalese authorities to commence a transparent investigation into all deaths, especially following the death of civilians, including a minor, during demonstrations against the government

WACSOF reiterates its availability to help and collaborate in any dialogue process to bring peace

Contacts: Media@Wacsof-Foscao.Org / +234 810 287 0960 (WhatsApp)

ABOUT THE WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF)

With more than 1000 Member Organizations, the WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF) is the umbrella network of the Civil Society in West Africa, covering 18 thematic areas, with representation in 15 countries of ECOWAS. WACSOF is the channel for institutionalized dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. WACSOF builds capacity, advocates, mobilizes civil society, engages in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement between institutions and civil society organizations, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org

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