Senegal PM questions France military presence and announces potential base closures News
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Senegal PM questions France military presence and announces potential base closures

The Prime Minister of Senegal, Ousmane Sonko, announced the possibility of closing French military bases in the West African nation. The address also discussed LGBTQ rights and the practice of monogamy.

During his speech at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Sonko expressed his concerns about France’s military presence in Senegal and other countries. The politician expressed concerns about the potential effects on the African states’ national sovereignty and strategic independence. He stated:

More than 60 years after our independence … we must question the reasons why the French army for example still benefits from several military bases in our country and the impact of this presence on our national sovereignty and our strategic autonomy.

He went on to say that the presence of the French military is incompatible with maintaining Senegal’s independence and sovereignty.

The politician also expressed strong disapproval of the efforts made by France and the West to promote specific values that he believed were not in line with the values upheld by Senegal and other African countries, including LGBTQ rights and  monogamy.

At present, there are 350 French soldiers stationed in Senegal, with 260 of them serving permanently. They have been in the country since 2011, and their primary focus is on providing training to soldiers from neighboring countries. The capital city of Dakar is the primary focus of French influence in Senegal, along with other countries in the region, such as Ivory Coast, Gabon, and Chad.

Following an agreement, Senegal regained control of several military bases previously held by its former colonial ruler in 2010.