Senegal’s new prime minister criticizes French navy presence within the West African nation | EUROtoday

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Senegal’s new prime minister, who was free of jail weeks earlier than the presidential election earlier this 12 months and propelled his get together to victory, has criticized the French navy presence within the West African nation.

Ousmane Sonko additionally criticized efforts by France and the West to advertise values that he stated did not match with these held by Senegal and different African nations, together with LGBTQ rights and monogamy. Polygamy is extensively practiced in Senegal.

Sonko was talking late Thursday at an occasion held collectively with the French far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon within the capital, Dakar.

Sonko is thought for his criticism of interference by France, which is Senegal’s former colonial ruler. His fiery views in a area the place different neighbors have already taken steps to chop ties with France helped his chosen candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye win the presidential election in March.

“I want to reiterate Senegal’s desire for self-determination, which is incompatible with the long-term presence of foreign military bases in Senegal,” Sonko stated.

He stated the will to query the presence of French and different overseas forces did not undermine current protection treaties that Senegal has signed with these nations. France has about 350 troops in Senegal.

While Sonko warned that selling LGBTQ rights may trigger battle between Senegal and France, Mélenchon responded that he had launched laws allowing same-sex marriage in France.

“I thought that this freedom to love anyone had to be open to all that wanted to enjoy it,” the French politician stated.

Senegal is taken into account a pillar of stability in a area that has skilled a wave of coups lately, and Sonko’s remarks are possible to attract consideration from Western allies.

Following coups in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, all three nations have expelled French troops and turned to Russia as a substitute for assist combating yearslong insurgencies there. The three nations additionally fashioned their very own alliance of Sahel states, inflicting a cut up throughout the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.

Sonko, whose get together has stated ECOWAS must be reformed, reiterated criticism of the regional bloc for permitting the divisions to develop.

“We will not abandon of our brothers in the Sahel and will do everything necessary to strengthen our ties,” he stated.