Senegal, from one city to another


Let us imagine the following circumstances. The Danube Delta becomes the Senegal Delta, with its nature reserve, called National Park Djoudj with pelicans, mangroves and crocodiles. The presence of the Danube Delta Commission does not simplify the fact that St. Louis de Senegal was the capital city of Senegal and of Mauritania, and also of the entire French sub-Saharan Africa; nor does the fact that it was founded 350 years ago. As for the rest, our Sulina (the old one, and whatever has managed to survive the disinterest of the inhabitants and local administration) is nothing but a 1/10 replica of the city I am telling you about. Up to independence and unlike the rest of Africa, St. Louis (the same as the island of Goreea and the cities of Thies and Dakar) was a French province. The inhabitants were as much French citizens as the people of Paris. I still have to digest the decision to give up this status for independence. Of course being a European and a Francophile, I cannot, – can I? – understand the complexity of the decolonization feelings. But one does not need more than half an hour walk to figure out that this used to be a great city and, in return, we are now counting the years until its disappearance, despite its independence…


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