The unrest which marked the pre-election period in January and February resulted in serious human rights violations, including excessive use of force leading to the death of several protesters; torture and other ill-treatment; and attacks on freedom of expression. In Casamance, in the south, clashes between the army and an armed group intensified at the beginning of the year leading to arrests and targeting of civilians. An agreement was signed between Senegal and the AU to establish a special court to try former Chadian President Hissène Habré.
In January and February, security forces violently repressed opponents to the candidacy for a third term of the outgoing President Wade and used excessive force, leading to several casualties. Despite this unrest, new President Macky Sall was elected in March; the results were not challenged.
In October, representatives of the Senegalese government and members of the Democratic Forces of Casamance Movement (MFDC) met in Rome, Italy, under mediation undertaken by the Catholic community Sant’Egidio.Top of page
At least six people were killed by security forces during the pre-elections unrest.
Several people were tortured and otherwise ill-treated by security forces and at least two of them died in detention, reportedly as a result of torture.
Political activists and human rights defenders were assaulted and imprisoned for peacefully expressing their opposition to President Wade’s candidacy.
Several civilians were arrested or targeted as tension escalated between the MFDC and the army.
In August, an agreement was signed between Senegal and the AU to establish a special court to try former Chadian President Hissène Habré. This court would have jurisdiction to try those responsible for crimes under international law committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990.
On 19 December, the National Assembly adopted a law establishing special chambers within the existing court structure. However, some key elements to the successful conduct of a fair trial had not been set up, such as a programme for protection of victims and witnesses, and an effective mutual legal assistance agreement with other countries, including France and Chad, where victims, witnesses, evidence and assets may be located.Top of page