15 FEBRUARY 2012
|85-YEAR-OLD SENEGALESE 12 YEARS PRESIDENT SEEKING 6 MORE?
Mamadou Diop was shot dead for protesting a third term for Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. On 31 January, young students and civil society
groups assembled at Dakar's Place de Obelix after a "Constitutional Council" validated another run for the 85-year-old Wade, who has been running the
country -- with the help of family and friends -- since the year 2000. During the last 12 years, the price of basic necessities have tripled. Forget
about oil and gas; the prices of daily needs like sugar and rice become out of reach. Tales of corruption and nepotism are widespread. Even a desire for
a third term is explained by a suspicion that President Wade would use it to hand over to his chosen son.
The decision of the Constitutional Council was generally perceived as a farce. No serious contender was allowed. Even an unlikely winner like singer
Youssou N'Dour was ruled out. The world-famous artist may not have a political base, but he has at least the feeling that his people are very unhappy.
When widespread unhappiness was publicly displayed, police were brought and instructed to shoot directly at the crowds. When news that Mamadou
Diop, a 32-year-old student, was killed, other concerned students went to the hospital. He was a prominent youth leader, known to fight against
injustice, preparing for his Masters degree. Police units were placed to block their approach, shooting point blank. A civil unrest started. Students
and civil society groups grabbed whatever was handy to build protective barricades.
A bloody deadly unrest rocks the Capital of Senegal -- a key country in Africa -- because an 85-year-old man who ruled already for 12 years
is seeking to stay in power for 6 more years. He at least officially would wish to reign supreme until he reaches the vintage age of 91; and
perhaps, then, opt for a fourth term!
Yet, not one word from any member of the U.N. Security Council who are having a hay day in selective democratic values.
Obviously, newfound spring happens only where there is OIL!