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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid