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

WACSOF IS CONCERNED BY THE TENSE POLITICAL CLIMATE IN SENEGAL AND CALLS ON THE AUTHORITIES AND THE OPPOSITION PARTIES FOR AN INCLUSIVE AND PEACEFUL POLITICAL DIALOGUE

ABUJA FEBRUARY 21ST 2023: The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) has been monitoring the political events in SENEGAL. WACSOF notes, with regret, for several months a continuous deterioration of the political climate which results in a radicalization of political positions, a judicialization of political dialogue and a sharp rise in the level of violence in SENEGAL

WACSOF wishes to recall that, additional 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.
  3. The security forces, while carrying out investigations, shall not disturb or arrest family members or relations of the person presumed guilty or suspected of having committed an offence.

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. 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
  2. Calls on the authorities to create the required condusive environment for a frank inclusive dialogue with all political parties and all stake holders
  3. Appeals to opposition parties to exercise their political rights responsibly in a peaceful framework and to accept a frank dialogue with the ruling party for the well-being of the citizens
  4. Invites civil society organizations including traditional and religious leaders to use their influence for a peaceful dialog.
  5. 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.

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

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

 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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