Accession Number : ADA559877
Title : Senegal: Background and U.S. Relations
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Arieff, Alexis
Report Date : 11 Apr 2012
Pagination or Media Count : 17
Abstract : Senegal, a small, semi-arid nation on West Africa s Atlantic coast, has long been viewed as one of the region s most stable democracies. Political trends under former President Abdoulaye Wade (in office 2000-2012) raised concerns among analysts and policymakers over possible democratic backsliding, particularly in connection with Wade s attempt to win a third term in office in elections held on February 26. Popular anger over Wade s candidacy sparked demonstrations and rioting, leading analysts to question Senegal s stability and the potential for a free and fair vote. To many observers surprise, voting was peaceful, and Wade lost to opposition candidate (and former protege) Macky Sall in a run-off vote held on March 25. Wade did not contest the results, instead calling Sall to concede. Sall was sworn in on April 2, becoming Senegal s fourth president since independence in 1960. The election results and Wade s concession were internationally hailed as a victory for democracy in an often troubled region. The State Department refers to U.S.-Senegalese relations as excellent. U.S. bilateral engagement has increased in recent years. Bilateral assistance, estimated at $98.8 million in FY2011, is focused on public health, food security, democratic governance, economic growth, rural development, and military professionalism. In addition, the United States signed a $540 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact with Senegal in 2009. The United States has viewed Senegal as an anchor of regional stability and a potential partner in combating transnational security threats, such as terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and maritime piracy. Senegal is a significant contributor of troops to international peacekeeping missions, and thousands of Senegalese peacekeepers have received U.S. training through the State Department s Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program.
Descriptors : *INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS , *POLITICAL SCIENCE , *UNITED STATES , *WEST AFRICA , ATLANTIC OCEAN , COASTAL REGIONS , DEMOCRACY , DRUG SMUGGLING , ECONOMICS , PEACEKEEPING , PRESIDENT(UNITED STATES) , RURAL AREAS
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE