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):

Report Date:

2012-04-11

Pagination or Media Count:

17.0

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.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE