Conflict and Fragility


Political unrest and migration in Senegal

30 Apr 2024 - 13:01
Source: Migrant boats in the Canary Islands / Reuters
Fighting for a future

On 2 April, the newly elected President of Senegal took office and on the same day appointed his main ally Ousmane Sonko as the Prime Minister. This can be seen as the culmination of a long journey that has taken the country through violent protests and an excessive use of power followed by a surge in departures to the Canary Islands. This commentary argues that these processes are interconnected events. By extension, it also argues that the fight against irregular migration – supported by Western donors – is interconnected with the repression of political protests. Combating irregular migration became a way of supporting the repression carried out by the Senegalese authorities, largely because of the absence of legal pathways for migration.

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