Senegal should act on right abuses

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iol new spic sall

REUTERS

Senegal's new president, Macky Sall.

Dakar -

Senegal's three-month-old government should end “decades of impunity for human rights violations,” according to a report released Wednesday by rights group Amnesty International.

According to the report, a lack of justice for human rights violations -including abuses by security forces and a lack of justice for victims of the conflict in the southern Casamance region - is undermining the judicial system and rule of law in Senegal.

“After years of impunity, the population has great expectations regarding justice,” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International's West Africa researcher.

“The authorities must put an end to the culture of impunity that serves as both weapon and shield for security forces,” he said. “The victims of human rights violations and their families deserve justice and reparation.”

According to the report, human rights violations by Senegal's police, such as pre-election violence earlier this year, should be punished.

In the tropical Casamance region, where a low-level conflict has been underway for the last 30 years, Mootoo said “security forces and armed groups have committed countless atrocities for which no one has been held accountable.”

Amnesty International is also calling on Senegal's President Macky Sall to prepare for the extradition of former Chadian President Hissene Habre, who is wanted by courts in Belgium for human rights abuses and war crimes.

Habre currently lives freely in the Senegalese capital Dakar. His extradition was blocked by courts under the administration of ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, who left office in early April. - Sapa-dpa


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