Wade recruiting mercenaries, says ex-PM

2011-07-01 22:13
Dakar - A Senegalese opposition leader, ex-prime minister Macky Sall, on Friday accused President Abdoulaye Wade's regime of recruiting mercenaries from countries such as Ivory Coast

Sall, who is also a former interior minister, told foreign journalists in Dakar that Wade's regime had "recruited mercenaries with bloodstained hands from Ivory Coast, Guinea and Nigeria" to be used to "kidnap opponents and civil society members".

He claimed some 400 of the alleged mercenaries had "entered the national territory through the southern border" which separates Senegal from Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

"The regime only has terror left to maintain it," said Sall, presidential candidate and leader of the Republic Alliance, which was created after the last legislative elections and currently holds no seats in parliament.

Wade's regime is facing growing unrest over crippling power cuts which have led to riots across the country and saw the government deploy extra troops earlier this week.

This followed angry riots on June 23 over the 85-year-old's efforts to change election laws and criticism over his efforts to seek a third term in office.

Wade has since shelved the constitutional revisions which would have added a vice president to the presidential ticket for next year's polls, and dropped the winning threshold for a first-round victory to 25% of votes from the current 50%.

Wade's critics saw the measures as a scheme by the president to avoid a second round of voting and line up his 42-year-old son Karim Wade, already a government minister, for succession.

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