Senegal’s Prime Minister criticizes French military bases on its territory

Senegal’s Prime Minister criticizes French military bases on its territory
Ousmane Sonko

Senegal’s prime minister Ousmane Sonko has floated the idea of closing French military bases in the West African country, according to Reuters. Sonko, a populist politician who came to power after his handpicked presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye won a landslide election in March, has a history of criticizing French influence in Senegal. 

Sonko made his comments at a joint press conference with visiting French left wing politician Jean-Luc Melenchon in the capital Dakar Thursday. The prime minsiter asked why France maintained military bases in the country more than 60 years after Senegal’s independence, asserting that their presence compromised Senegal’s national sovereignty and strategic autonomy.

"I reiterate here the desire of Senegal to have its own control, which is incompatible with the lasting presence of foreign military bases in Senegal”...Sonko said.

Neighboring countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have expelled French troops and turned to Russia for support against jihadist insurgencies. Sonko expressed solidarity with those nations, adding that he would do everything possible to improve ties with them.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to MAGHREB INSIDER.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.