Harouna Sy shouldn’t go to Darfur
Please, the United Nations, do not send Commissaire Harouna Sy to Darfur, it would be a shame for you and an insult to the living memory of the young Senegalese demonstrators he has killed. We, people of Senegal, will see such a nomination as the demonstration that our lives are not worth anything for you and that you do not value and respect the sacrifices we made to protect our democracy.
For those who do not follow closely Senegalese politics, let me you remind you of two or three facts and tell you why the UN shouldn’t send Harouna Sy to Darfur.
Senegal has always been one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa. In 2000 we elected opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade as President ending 40 years of political domination by the Socialist Party, then led by President Abdou Diouf. President Diouf gracefully conceded and left. We celebrated… just to end up with one of the most corrupt regime ever seen anywhere. This Business Insider’s article is pretty accurate about Wade and his gangster’s practices.
Wade got nonetheless reelected in 2007 for what should have been, according to the Senegalese Constitution, his last term. At the end of this term, Wade decided that, due to the fact that the Constitution had been revised between his first and second term, he had the right to seek a third term. This interpretation, even though challenged by almost every Senegalese legal scholar, was sanctified through a ruling by our Constitutional Court. It is probably just a coincidence that some times before this ruling, Wade had quintupled the salaries of the so called Five Wise Men composing this Court. Anyway, after the ruling Senegalese People, young and old woke up and got to the streets to defend Senegalese democracy. Riots erupted during which 12 people was killed. Commissaire Harouna Sy, then Head of Dakar Police, is directly involved in the killing of some of these people. He went far ahead his duties to protect Wade’s regime. He even asked for the Justice Department to fire Dakar’s District Attorney because this DA was reluctant to jail peaceful demonstrators. Commissaire Harouna Sy is currently at the center of an investigation by the Senegalese Justice to establish his involvement in the killing of Mamadou Diop, a graduate student. Some testimonies indicate that he asked for his subordinates to run over the demonstrators resulting in Diop’s death.
Due to his attitude when Senegalese people were struggling to preserve their freedom, Commissaire Harouna Sy is for all of us the most despicable police officer in this country and an embodiment of what police officers shouldn’t be in a democracy. He is unfit to expertise about the duties of police officers in a democratic country having been involved in a failed attempt to transform a functioning democracy into an authoritarian gerontocracy. That’s why we are deeply hurt by the United Nation’s decision to select this very man as head of a commission helping for the establishment of a Darfurian Police. Our hope is that our protests will be heard and the UN will give Senegalese justice time to investigate commissaire Harouna Sy’s crimes. This investigation would be delayed by a mission to Darfur. Sending Harouna Sy to Darfur would mean that the UN doesn’t respect our struggles for values we consider should be at the center of the UN’s mission. This nomination would also mean that the UN isn’t serious about its effort to help out Darfur set up a Police Force truly interested in protecting the rights of the citizens as opposed to the desiderata of the powerful.