Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Senegal

Newsline: Zimbabwe ambassador to Senegal found dead in Dakar

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia, Trudy Stevenson, has been found dead in Dakar on Friday. The 73-year-old diplomat was reportedly discovered at her residence by her chauffeur when he reported for duty. The Zimbabwean foreign affairs and international trade ministry confirmed the death of the diplomat, but could not shed more light, saying government was yet to talk to the family. “It is true Ms Stevenson has passed, but we are yet to get in contact with all the relatives,” an official in the ministry said. Stevenson, a founding member of the MDC opposition party, was appointed ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia in 2009 when the then Robert Mugabe-led Zanu-PF joined hands with the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and Welshman Ncube’s MDC party to form the Government of National Unity (GNU). She remained the only opposition political figure in diplomatic posting after others were recalled at the expiry of the GNU.


Newsline: Man allegedly threatens to kill Trump, shoot up Senegal embassy in DC

Wesley Pinkney noticed a strange man in a Mercedes-Benz, parked outside his Columbia Heights apartment building, for three whole days. “I said, something ain’t right with this guy, and as I walked up the steps, I said, see something, say something,” Pinkney said. On Saturday, Secret Service agents had that man, now identified as Freddy Possian, of D.C., in handcuffs. Authorities said Possian made six threatening 911 calls early Saturday morning. In one, he declared: “Mayday, mayday, the White House has been taken over.” In another, he allegedly claimed to be Osama Bin Laden — vowing to shoot-up the Embassy of Senegal located in downtown D.C. The Secret Service says Possian forced them to close two blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus up security at the White House.


Newsline: Turkish Embassy construction fuels protests in Senegal

Protests over the construction of a new Turkish embassy in the Senegalese capital Dakar have highlighted anger in the West African nation over a property boom that is swallowing the coastline and squeezing ordinary people’s budgets. Riot police teargased protesters and arrested 23 people at a demonstration last week alongside a breeze-block wall constructed to house the embassy compound on a picturesque stretch of Dakar’s coast, where luxury villas, hotels and shopping centres have sprung up in recent years. Built on a peninsula reaching into the Atlantic Ocean, the city of three million is growing at breakneck speed, fuelled by migrants from rural Senegal and neighbouring countries. Hemmed in by water on three sides, Dakar’s population is on track to hit five million by 2025, experts say. Civil society groups have formed a movement called “No to the wall” to oppose the embassy’s construction amid growing opposition to the development of coastal areas used by residents to relax, walk and exercise. They say the embassy’s compound wall blocks access to a long stretch of pristine coastline. Some rights groups accuse new President Macky Sall’s government – which authorised the embassy’s construction on the protected coastline despite opposition from Dakar’s city council – of riding roughshod over civil liberties by banning and dispersing protests.


Newsline: Russian Embassy Seeks Explanation From Senegal Over Detained Trawler

The Russian Embassy in Dakar has asked Senegal’s Foreign Ministry to explain the detention of the Oleg Naidenov trawler, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. The Russian trawler was detained by the Senegalese navy Saturday off the coasts of Senegal and Guinea-Bissau on suspicion of illegally fishing in Senegal’s waters. It was escorted to the port of Dakar, where it was put under military police guard. “The Russian Embassy has contacted Senegal’s Foreign Ministry for an explanation of [its] military personnel’s actions in regard to the Russian fishing vessel,” the statement said. “In cooperation with representatives of the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency in Dakar, our diplomats are taking further steps for its soonest release and return to sea.” Agence France Presse news agency cited Senegal’s Fisheries Minister Haidar El Ali as saying Sunday that the country planned to fine the trawler’s owner about $800,000 for repeated illegal fishing in its waters. Yury Parshev, executive director of Feniks, the company that owns the Oleg Naidenov, insists the trawler was fishing legally in Guinea-Bissau’s waters. The Federal Fisheries Agency also denies any wrongdoing by the ship, which is believed to have been carrying a crew of 62 Russians and about 20 nationals of Guinea-Bissau. Russian Embassy and Federal Fisheries Agency officials will meet with Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, on Tuesday to discuss the situation.


Newsline: Nigeria Starts Inquiry Over Attack On Embassy in Senegal

The Federal Government in Abuja said that it had constituted a board of inquiry on the attack on Nigeria’s Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) recalled that on March 4, a group of Nigerians resident in Dakar attacked the embassy over an alleged disappearance of a corpse of a Nigerian, Mr Kingsley Irogbulam, from a Senegalese mortuary. Irogbulam was allegedly killed in June 2012 by his Senegalese business partner under a mysterious circumstance. Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced this at an investigative hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. He said a strong protest had been made to the Senegalese authorities, especially over the failure of the police to respond promptly to the distress call. In her testimony, Mrs Katyen Jackden, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Senegal, said a distress call was made to the nearest police station some few metres away from the chancery for help. According to her, the police only responded after 30 minutes, after the attackers had departed. She blamed the police for not making any attempt to arrest any of the culprits.


Newsline: Nigerian Embassy in Senegal attacked

The Nigerian Embassy in the Senegalese capital Dakar was attacked with its premises invaded and staff injured, the Foreign Ministry said. Some Nigerians residing in Senegal stormed the embassy, beating up some staff and vandalizing the building, according to the ministry. The aggrieved persons were reportedly disappointed over the refusal by the Nigerian Embassy and Consulate to help retrieve the body of a dead Nigerian.


Newsline: U.S. Embassy in Senegal warns of bomb threat to Dakar

The U.S. Embassy in Senegal said it had received information of a bomb threat to the capital Dakar. In a text message to U.S. citizens, the embassy advised its nationals to stay away from the city centre until further notice but did not give any further details. A Senegalese security source confirmed the threat and said the authorities had taken “necessary measures”. The United States and African governments are backing a five-week-old French military campaign against Islamist rebels in Senegal’s neighbour Mali. Senegal has sent several hundred troops to join an African force being deployed to Mali. Islamists have threatened to strike back at anyone who supports the mission. France, which has about 18,000 citizens in Senegal, said it did not have any information on a possible threat.