The authorities used excessive force to suppress a number of demonstrations and people were arrested for expressing dissident political opinions. Torture of suspects was routine; one detainee reportedly died as a result. In southern Casamance, clashes between the army and an armed group intensified at the end of the year, leading to civilian casualties. Despite Senegal’s legal obligations and repeated calls from the African Union, the Senegalese authorities expressed unwillingness to try former Chadian President Hissène Habré.
Conflict between the army and the Democratic Forces of Casamance Movement (Mouvement des forces démocratiques de Casamance, MFDC) intensified at the end of the year, leading to several civilian and military casualties.
Throughout the year, President Abdoulaye Wade’s candidacy for a third term in the 2012 elections provoked large demonstrations, particularly in the capital Dakar.
In June, violent clashes took place in Dakar between riot police and those protesting against a bill proposing changes to the regulation of the presidential election. The bill was withdrawn as a result.
In June, the implementing decree of a law creating a National Inspector of Places of Deprivation of Liberty was adopted but by the end of the year no appointment had been made.Top of page
Several civilians were killed or wounded in clashes between the MFDC and the army.
Demonstrations against the political and economic situation were met with government force throughout the year.
Several people were arrested and one was sentenced to prison for publicly expressing opposition to the government.
The police regularly tortured suspects; one reportedly died as a result.
The African Union stated in March that former Chadian President Hissène Habré should be tried by a Special Court in Senegal. In June, a coalition of NGOs and victims of Hissène Habré’s government brought a case against Senegal before the International Court of Justice for failing to try or extradite him. The government announced its decision in July to return Hissène Habré to Chad, where he has been sentenced to death in his absence, but this was suspended after protests by UN bodies and human rights organizations.Top of page