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    Senegal-GOAPA Interviews-Feature

    ‘I don’t feel like we’re making any progress on democracy’ - Alioune Tine

    APA-Dakar (Senegal) by Oumar Dembélé

    Senegal is not currently giving the “impression” of make progress in democracy, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa Alioune Tine has said.

    Tine is urging Senegal to “stabilize its achievements” in this area, if it does not want to fall into “stagnation.”

    He was speaking on Wednesday as the first guest of Grand Oral d’APA, a newly-launched APA platform of interview-based news features touching on a wide range of topical issues. The guest interviews will be be held every fortnight.

    Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa was responding to a question about a recurrent accusation by the government against civil society, that it sometimes plays the role of the political opposition.

    “I can say that it is normal, but it must also remain within the limits of legality; it can be a political battle, we can understand that. But sometimes people have a heavy hand and criminalize being an opponent or a dissident.

    “The day when there will be no more opponents or dissidents, there will be no more democracy!” he warned, before noting that this is what is “happening today in France with the gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests). The analysis that can be made of that crisis is the collapse of the institutions of the 5th Republic.

    “They have three successive heads of state that serve only one term; who do not satisfy the French. And we have a pale copy of the institutions of the 5th Republic. This should make us think about which institutions and democraccy can effectively adapt to our concrete situations,” he said.

    Tine made it clear that his think tank called “Africa Jom” “is working” on these questions, “because we can’t go on like this and run into the wall.”


    ODL/cat/lb/afm/APA

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