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City of Banjul
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Senegal: Ex minister to reappear before corruption court

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Abdoulaye Balde who is the current mayor of Ziguinchor in the south of the country had submitted a 1000-page document aimed at justifying the lawful origins of his assets.

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On 18 August Balde appeared before the court which freed him from custody and sparked wild celebrations from his friends and supporters.

A former associate of Karim Wade, himself on trial over an allegedly illicit wealth estimated at CFA 117billion, Abdoulaye Balde was the executive director of the National Agency for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (ANOCI) chaired by the former Senegalese president’s son in 2008.

Samuel Sarr

Meanwhile President Macky Sall has rebuffed suggestions that he should parley towards the opposition and seek mediation following the detention of former Energy minister, the Gambian-Senegalese Samuel Sarr allegedly for “insulting the head of state”. 

Speaking to reporters yesterday, a defiant Macky Sall stated: “They can insult me, it will not make me react.  But if they invent from scratch charges relating to an illicit enrichment [on my part], they will answer before the law.  And let no one tell me about mediation or masla.  I will go to the end [of this matter]. “

Many in the opposition have queried the detention of Mr Sarr warranting the Senegalese Minister of Youth, Employment and Construction to react: “It’s not like Samuel Sarr was picked up because he merely expressed an opinion. When an opinion is at odds with the law, this is no longer a normal opinion. Are we going to allow everyone to say what he wants in this country? I think not. There are sensitivities that should not be hit. Democracy is respect for freedoms and that of others. I cannot say what I want by insulting people or accusing them wantonly. ” 

The coordinator of M23 / Patriotic, Cheikh Diop Sadibou is outraged by the arrest of Samuel Sarr as it is unfair compared to other more serious accusations made by others like Idrissa Seck: “We condemn the imprisonment of Samuel Sarr.  We believe that his remarks do not deserve jail. I am convinced that there is a two-tiered justice. Other politicians have held much more serious views, but were not arrested. Take the example of Idrissa Seck who called the president ‘Ebola’.  This decision to detain Samuel Sarr will not do honor to our system of justice.  If all those who criticise the government of President Macky Sall deserve to go to prison, we invite the head of state to build thousands and thousands of prisons.  All activists and supporters of the M23 / Patritotique movement continue to denounce in the most virulent manner, any form of dictatorship.”

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