Em­bassy con­struc­tion fu­els protests amid Sene­gal property boom

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

Protests over the con­struc­tion of a new Turk­ish em­bassy in the Sene­galese cap­i­tal Dakar have high­lighted anger in the West African na­tion over a property boom that is swal­low­ing the coast­line and squeez­ing or­di­nary people’s bud­gets.

Riot po­lice tear­gased pro­test­ers and ar­rested 23 people at a demon­stra­tion last week along­side a breeze-block wall con­structed to house the em­bassy com­pound on a pic­turesque stretch of Dakar’s coast, where lux­ury vil­las, ho­tels and shop­ping cen­tres have sprung up in re­cent years.

Built on a penin­sula reach­ing into the At­lantic Ocean, the city of three mil­lion is grow­ing at break­neck speed, fu­elled by mi­grants from ru­ral Sene­gal and neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. Hemmed in by wa­ter on three sides, Dakar’s pop­u­la­tion is on track to hit five mil­lion by 2025, ex­perts say.

Civil so­ci­ety groups have formed a move­ment called “No to the wall” to op­pose the em­bassy’s con­struc­tion amid grow­ing op­po­si­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of coastal ar­eas used by res­i­dents to re­lax, walk and ex­er­cise. They say the em­bassy’s com­pound wall blocks ac­cess to a long stretch of pris­tine coast­line.

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