News / Africa

Former Senegalese Leader Set to Return Home Wednesday

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is surrounded by supporters and security as he travels between campaign stops in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP)Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is surrounded by supporters and security as he travels between campaign stops in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP)
x
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is surrounded by supporters and security as he travels between campaign stops in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP)
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is surrounded by supporters and security as he travels between campaign stops in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP)
James Butty
Former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is expected to return home Wednesday from France, where he has been living since his 2012 electoral defeat by current President Macky Sall.
 
But, his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) said the government has ordered a shutdown of the Leopold Senghor International Airport from 2 to 8pm local time and barred Wade’s supporters from holding a welcome rally.
 
Amadou Sall, former justice minister and communications director during former Wade’s administration, said the government is afraid because Wade is more popular than Sall.
 
“President Wade is supposed to be back home Wednesday in the afternoon, and our party and the Senegalese citizens are ready to be there with him.

But, we have a problem because the government has decided to close Dakar Airport in the afternoon between 2 and 8 o’clock pm” he said.
 
Sall also said the government has banned Wade supporters from holding a welcome rally in Dakar for the former president.
 
“We decided that when President Wade arrives, we will organize a popular meeting in Dakar because President Wade is very popular and the population decided to go in the street to welcome him. But, the government has not authorized this meeting and they decided that parking in all avenues is forbidden,” Sall said.
 
He said the former president’s supporters have a right to organize a welcome rally without obtaining permission from the police.
 
“If someone is coming, his supporters have the right to go to the airport just to say hello and welcome. And they cannot forbid that because we have the right to do that,” Sall said.
                   
Sall said the government prohibited Wade supporters from holding a welcome rally because the former president is more popular than the current leader.
 
“They fear Abdoulaye Wade because President Macky Sall is very unpopular.  His government is unpopular, his prime minister is very unpopular, and Senegalese citizens are unsatisfied,” Sall said.
 
Abou Abel Thiam, a presidential spokesman, denied the government plans to shut down the airport.
 
He said Wade, as a former president, enjoys certain privileges that the government is ready to make available at his request. But, Thiam said the government will not tolerate Wade returning home both as a former president and as a “troublemaker.”
 
“The former president, Mr. Abdoulaye Wade, has a status of a former president. Tomorrow, if he comes in this case with his status as former president, we will open the airport and give him a car to leave him to go wherever he wants. But, what we don’t accept is for him to come with his status of a former president and to want to make trouble in the city,” he said.
 
Thiam said Wade has told a French newspaper that he was returning home for political reasons.
 
Wade is returning home at a time when the new government has accused his son, Karim Wade, of amassing millions of dollars in alleged ill-gotten wealth when he served in his father’s government.
 
The elder Wade has reportedly said the government was engaged in a witch hunt against his son.
 
But, Thiam said the justice system simply wants the younger Wade to explain how he acquired such huge sums of money.
                   
“What is true is that his son, Mr. Karim Wade, was a former minister in his father’s government. He had a big responsibility in the government of his father. The justice system wants him to explain where he got the big money that has been found in his bank account,” Thiam said.
Butty interview with Thiam
Butty interview with Thiami
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
 
Butty interview with Sall
Butty interview with Salli
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid