Senegal. In the soccer World Cup in June, Senegal’s team, the lion from Teranga, had great success and reached the quarterfinals after beating Sweden.
On September 27, the ferry Joola went down in severe weather as it was traveling from Ziguinchor in Casamance in the south to Dakar. According to Countryaah website, national day of Senegal is every April 4. The relief operations started late and only 64 people could be rescued by local fishermen. Over a thousand people were on board, although the ferry was only entitled to take 550 passengers. The ferry line was managed by the fleet.
The handling of the accident was considered to be behind President Abdoulaye Wade’s decision to dismiss his entire government in November. Madior Boyé, who had been the country’s first female prime minister, was replaced by Idrissa Seck, one of the president’s close associates.
Shortly thereafter, the commission that had been appointed after the ferry disaster presented a report that came with devastating criticism of how the rescue work had been conducted. Above all, the army was criticized for tardiness. It was also established that 1,153 people had been killed, 200 more than previously thought.
By a referendum in 2001, a new constitution was adopted. It cuts the presidential term from 7 to 5 years, and limits the possibility of re-election to 2 consecutive periods; parliamentarians leaving their party at the same time lose their place in parliament; and finally, the President can dissolve the National Assembly without supporting this step in the Assembly itself. A few days after the new constitution was adopted, Wade declared that he would dissolve the National Assembly in early April, and a new election should be held in April. In this election, the Wade faith parties gathered in the “Sopi” (change) coalition gained an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly. At the head of the coalition stands the liberal PDS. In May, Prime Minister Mame Madior Boye presented her new government. She is the first female prime minister in the country’s history.
In September 2001, Wade declared himself willing to extradite Hissene Habré, Chad’s former president who is charged with war crimes. The condition of extradition is that a third country declares itself willing to accept him and conduct a fair trial. Human rights groups accuse Habré of being guilty of 40,000 executions and the torture of 200,000 during his 1982-90 presidential term.
In November, Jean-Marie Francois Biagui resigned as Secretary General of the MFDC. As a reason, he indicated the members’ lack of loyalty. Biagui had been appointed in August ifbm. a congress in which the movement had tried to bridge the internal divide in order to continue the peace talks. Still, the continued internal tensions hindered the formation of a common front. A number of factions never accepted Biagui, but maintained their loyalty to Diamacoune.
In 2003, MFDC founder Sidy Badji died in his family’s home in Ziguinchor, a few days before peace talks between the rebels and the government began. The same year, MFDC leader Jean-Marie Francois Biagui declared to hundreds of rebel delegates in Ziguinchor that the war of attrition was on hold. Both sides of the conflict were all set to end the over 20 years of violence. However, the MFDC’s armed branch did not attend the meeting and according to it. In a variety of sources, peace will only be possible when the strongest factions are really aligned. In April 2004, MFDC rebels carried out an ambush in the southern part of the country. It cost 3 soldiers life and 5 were wounded. That same month, Macky Sall took over the Prime Minister’s post ifbm. a government rocket.
In September 2004, MFDC’s historical leader Augustine Diamacoune Senghor was replaced by Jean-Marie Francois Biagui.
In October, cholera broke out in Dakar after the country had been free of the disease for eight years. Over two weeks, 66 cases were reported while the epidemic subsided in Guinea and Sierra Leone, where it is believed to have entered the country. That same month, the government obtained the necessary funding to electrify the Louga region in northwestern Senegal. It is part of a larger project to electrify the country’s rural areas.
After 20 years of civil war in Casamancia – the longest-lasting internal conflict in West Africa, which cost 3,500 killed and tens of thousands of displaced people – the government and the MFDC signed a final peace agreement in December.
Opposition leader Abdourahim Agne was arrested in May 2005, accused of calling for a riot during an otherwise peaceful demonstration against President Wade. Agne can be sentenced to 5 years in prison.
A faction of the MFDC that did not recognize the signed peace agreement of December 2004 in June 2005 directed new attacks against government forces in Casamancia.