A systemic analysis of the challenges of policing Senegal: the role of the police in democracy
Offerdahl, Thomas G.
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Little is known about the role of the police in Africa, and even less about the police in francophone African countries. Intrastate conflicts and peace-building after the Cold War tied policing to personal security, democracy, and sustainable development. Senegal has a stable democracy and police forces that were established prior to Senegalese independence in 1960, but it is still uncertain if they can become a police force that contributes to national and personal security capable of dealing with human and narcotic trafficking, transnational crimes, and international terrorism. This study investigates the challenges facing the Senegalese police forces and their impact on the Senegalese national and personal security environment. The primary police services face challenges with resources, capacity, terrorism, and transnational crime. The major finding is that the centralized structure of the Senegalese police, controlled by a semi-authoritarian president and the political elites, prevents the police from becoming a public safety institution able to address matters of personal security. This dynamic isolates the police from the Senegalese citizens and atrophies their ability to combat crime, preventing their development into a public safety institution.
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