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Senegal's Sonko wants to reassess ties with France

Senegal's opposition leader Ousmane Sonko adresses supporters in Dakar, Senegal, Thursday, March 14, 2024. Sonko was released from prison earlier in the day.   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved.


A reset of Africa's relations with Europe is the only future in sight, Senegal's Prime minister predicted Thursday (May 16).

Ousmane Sonko pointed to a decisive context which requires a change in historical patterns.

The leader of the PASTEF political party held a conference on the future of Africa-Europe ties.

He hosted leftwing politican Jean-Luc Mélenchon who is a former French presidential candidate .

Speaking at the Cheikh Anta Diop University, in Dakar, Sonko said France's military presence in his country and across the continent raised legitimate concerns. He questionned the impact on national sovereignty and strategic autonomy of the concerned African states.

France has a few permanent bases in Africa including ones Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire,

He gave as an example France's decision in 1966 to close all NATO bases on the territory on sovereignty grounds.

According to the French ministry for Armed Forces, nearly 400 soldiers providing regional military training are based at two camps in Dakar.

Ousmane Sonko said that his view do not call into question existing defense agreements with other countries. 

In 2010, Senegal retook control of several military bases held by its former colonial ruler following an agreement.

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