EU executive urged to investigate misuse of EU funds in Senegal to crush protests

A European Parliament’s committee has called for an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of EU funds in Senegal after a joint investigation by Al Jazeera and porCausa Foundation revealed that EU-trained Senegalese police meant to tackle cross-border crime worked to repress pro-democracy protests in the West African country.

Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, the chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE), has sent the letter to the European Commission, asking the EU executive to “make all necessary efforts” so that the allegations are “investigated and full clarity is made on use of EU funds.”

The joint investigation by Al Jazeera and porCausa Foundation revealed how a cross-border crime unit, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, was utilized by the Senegalese government to repress demonstrators, resulting in at least 60 deaths.

The Rapid Action Surveillance and Intervention Group (GAR-SI) was implemented by Spanish government development agency FIIAPP between 2017 and 2023 to fight armed groups, smuggling, trafficking, and other cross-border crimes along the border area between Senegal and Mali. However, evidence from the investigation indicated that the unit, funded to the tune of 74 million euro, was misused by then-President Macky Sall’s government to crackdown on protests, in which at least 60 people died, leading to increased migration towards Spain.

The EU executive and Spanish foreign and interior ministers had previously distanced themselves from the Senegalese government’s use of the GAR-SI to crush protests.

 

About Geraldine Boechat 2711 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia