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EU-Funded Unit Used for Suppressing Protests in Senegal: Investigation

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Recent developments in Senegal have raised concerns about the alleged misuse of resources provided by the European Union (EU) for counterterrorism purposes. A joint investigation conducted by Al Jazeera and porCausa Foundation sheds light on the deployment of the Rapid Action Surveillance and Intervention Group (GAR-SI), funded by the EU, to suppress pro-democracy protests in the country. This research aims to analyze the findings of the investigation and assess their implications.

Research Objectives:

To examine the circumstances surrounding the deployment of GAR-SI in Senegal.

To analyze the extent to which EU funding was utilized for purposes contrary to its intended objectives.

To evaluate the impact of GAR-SI deployment on pro-democracy protests and human rights in Senegal.

Methodology:

The research relies on data obtained from the joint investigation conducted by Al Jazeera and porCausa Foundation. Visual evidence, Spanish government contracts, a confidential evaluation report, and testimonies from multiple sources were analyzed to understand the role of GAR-SI in suppressing protests. The research also considers relevant documents, including EU funding agreements and project reports.

Findings:

GAR-SI Deployment: The investigation revealed that GAR-SI, originally established to combat cross-border crime, was deployed by the Senegalese government to suppress pro-democracy protests triggered by the trial of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Misuse of EU Funding: Despite being funded by the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, GAR-SI units were repurposed for domestic purposes, raising questions about the appropriate use of EU funds.

Impact on Protests: Visual evidence and testimonies suggest that GAR-SI units were involved in violent crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators, resulting in casualties and human rights violations.

Implications:

The research findings underscore the need for accountability and transparency in the utilization of EU funds for security assistance in Senegal. The alleged misuse of resources raises concerns about the erosion of democratic principles and respect for human rights. It calls for further investigation and scrutiny of EU-funded initiatives to ensure their compliance with international standards and objectives.

Conclusion:

The research highlights the concerning implications of deploying EU-funded counterterrorism units for suppressing protests in Senegal. It emphasizes the importance of upholding democratic values and human rights standards in security assistance programs. Addressing these issues requires collaborative efforts between the EU, Senegalese authorities, and civil society to ensure accountability, transparency, and respect for fundamental freedoms.

Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas is an accomplished journalist with extensive experience in the field. He has held prominent positions such as Editor at Daily Times and Daily Duniya. Currently, he serves as the Chief Editor (National) at The Think Tank Journal

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