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SENEGAL – “I understand your concerns and concerns.” Macky Sall

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Macky Sall

The President of the Republic Macky Sall addressed the Senegalese nation on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 8 pm. A statement that intervenes in a tense context in the country marked by a series of demonstrations following the arrest of the opponent Ousmane Sonko on Thursday, March 5, 2021. After the Senegalese Interior Minister Antoine Félix Diome’s ill-appreciated exit on Friday, March 5, the President of the Republic recognized the daily difficulties of Senegalese in this context of health crisis that led to a deep economic crisis.Here is the message to the nation of the Senegalese head of state Macky Sall this Monday, March 8.

My dear fellow countrymen, 
I wanted to speak to you this evening about the situation in our country. 
We are all witnessing the manifestations of rare violence that have erupted in recent days in Dakar and other localities, causing loss of life and significant material damage.
This evening, my thoughts go first of all to the victims of these unfortunate events and to all the physical and moral persons affected by the demonstrations.
I salute the memory of the deceased and offer my condolences to their families. I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. 
We are one family, united by a history that assigns us a common destiny. Every life lost is a mourning for the nation. This is why the State will help bereaved families and facilitate access to care for the wounded.
In the face of such unprecedented violence, where children and women have been placed, in an organized way, on the front line in the scenes of robberies and looting, our Defence and Security Forces have, fortunately, shown professionalism, discernment and restraint.Otherwise, the balance sheet would have been heavier.  
We have seen public buildings and state symbols attacked; shops and other private property looted and burned to the ground.Years of investment and hard work have been annihilated. Nothing and no cause can justify these regrettable acts. 
Each one, with his choices and opinions, with respect for others, we can and must settle our differences differently than through destructive violence; because, whatever our political choices and ambitions, we are one family, and none of us can have a destiny separate from that of the Senegalese nation. 
Time travelers, we are in a boat from which we will leave the place to others.  
Our individual and collective salvation commands us to travel together by consolidating the foundations of the boat and not by destroying them. It is also about the future of our children and generations after them. 

Nothing matters more to me than the preservation of what forms the soul of the Senegalese nation, its beating heart, its source of life and development: that is, the attachment to the values of living together in peace, security, freedom, democracy, tolerance and respect for our diversity.  
That is why I invite calm and serenity. Let us all, together, hold our grudges and avoid the logic of the confrontation that leads to the worst.
In this spirit, over the past two days I have received the Envoys of Khalifes Generals, customary authorities, as well as people of goodwill, members of the political class, including the opposition, civil society, trade unions and employers. 
I also spoke with members of the Catholic clergy.
I listened and heard their messages. I express my gratitude to them and thank them for their wise advice and constructive suggestions and recommendations. 
All this positive synergy shows that in moments of doubt, worry and turbulence, our social regulators function, and the springs of our nation remain solid.  
On the judicial aspect of this crisis, let justice run its course in complete independence. 
As far as I am concerned, I will use all the powers that my office confers upon me to consolidate the return to calm and serenity, in the best interests of the nation, the security of persons and property, the defence of the Republic and the preservation of our democratic institutions.
On dialogue and consultation, my hand remains outstretched and my doors open.Moreover, after my election, going beyond the fact of the majority, I launched the national dialogue to strengthen the foundations of our democracy and our political system. 
This dialogue is fruitful. To date, out of the 27 points in the dialogue, 25 have been agreed upon.  I remain and remain committed to the dialogue for the implementation of the points of convergence already achieved.  
I also understand, my fellow Canadians, that the anger that has been expressed in recent days is also linked to the impact of an economic crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
No one can deny that the entire world, including our country, is going through a deep economic crisis, resulting in millions of job losses and income-generating activities.Whole families are plunged into poverty, anguish and frustration. 
I understand the day-to-day challenges in our cities and rural areas. I know what it’s like to live in our neighbourhoods. I understand the anger of our suburbs. 

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With the Fund for Response and Solidarity against the Effects of COVID-19, the State has financed support for households, businesses, workers and various trades, including the arts and culture sector. 
We have not forgotten our diaspora, which we supported for more than 12 billion fcfa. This support to the diaspora illustrates the extent of the crisis we are experiencing; because usually it is the diaspora that comes to the aid of the country, and not the other way around.  
All this to show that solidarity, equity and social justice remain at the heart of my concerns, and long before the COVID-19 pandemic. 
But I note that all the efforts made so far, in terms of training, employment and funding dedicated to young people, to the tune of 60 billion fcfa, for the General Delegation to the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Young People, and 40 billion a year from the Fund for the Financing of Vocational and Technical Training, remain insufficient.  
That is why I would like to say to you young people that I understand your concerns and concerns. 
I have seen many of you go out on the streets to express the anger of your unhappiness; because you have no job;because you aspire to a better future;because over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic19, your daily life remains marked by economic gloom, social restrictions and the limitation of leisure and relaxation spaces. 
That a youth confronted with so many privations expresses its unhappiness seems quite understandable to me. 
At the same time, let us not participate in anything that delays us in our quest for a better future. When we destroy a business, when we attack the good of others, we do not create jobs, we destroy them; we do not reduce poverty, we aggravate it. 
I will commit as soon as possible to a reorientation of budget allocations to substantially and urgently improve responses to the needs of young people in terms of training, employment, project funding and support for entrepreneurship and the informal sector.
In the immediate term, with the ongoing vaccination campaign and the improvement of the COVID-19 situation, I have decided to reduce the curfew related to the state of health disaster in the Dakar and Thiès regions, which will now be set from midnight to five o’clock in the morning. 
This measure will help to broaden the scope of productive activities and help the gradual return to normal life in these two regions which concentrate the bulk of the country’s economic activities. 
However, let us continue to respect the health recommendations that the situation requires. 
My dear fellow countrymen, 
Everyday history and current events teach us that it is in trial that a nation makes its test of greatness. 

And the greatness of a nation’s soul is measured above all by the values and strength of character that underlie its existence.
It is these values and this strength of character that cement all the components of the Senegalese nation, to make it a solid block without cracks that helps us to get through the trials by resorting to our own dynamics of regulation. 
In doing so, we reaffirm together that the Senegalese nation is not a heterogeneous assembly of socio-cultural components without links with each other. 
We are a nation of mixed blood; a nation made up of all these stirrings that gather us, of all these religions that coexist in peace, of all these eyes that intersect and fraternize, of all these forces that combine and harmonize to sustain our common momentum towards our common destiny. 
On this day of March 8, I invite all the vital forces of the nation to come together to honour the Senegalese woman. Good evening.

       

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