Monday, 3 September 2018

SENEGAL: Spanish Tourists Ambushed, Robbed And Raped In Senegal

Bandits attacked a group of Spanish tourists in Senegal’s restive region of Casamance and raped two women before making off with thousands of euros in cash, a Senegalese army colonel said on Friday.

The attack occurred on Thursday near the small town of Diouloulou in the southern Casamance region, one of the poorest in Senegal though popular with tourists for its tropical forests and sandy beaches.

The Spanish group was travelling in a hired vehicle with a Senegalese driver. An armed band stopped and hijacked their car, then seized over 4,000 euros ($4,971.20) in cash and raped two women on the roadside before fleeing, according to the colonel, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It’s four Spanish tourists. There is one man and three women driven by a Senegalese driver. They were abducted, raped and then released by an armed group on the Diouloulou-Kataba axis, near the village of Karonge.

It’s four Spanish tourists. There is one man and three women driven by a Senegalese driver. They were abducted, raped and then released by an armed group on the Diouloulou-Kataba axis, near the village of KarongĂ©.

The Senegalese army deployed in the area to find the attackers.

The Spanish Embassy in Senegal confirmed that four tourists were assaulted in Casamance but did not comment on the rape report.

Spain’s Foreign Ministry said it was offering consular assistance to a group of Spanish nationals in Senegal.

It was the second violent incident in Casamance this year, raising concerns that worsening security there might damage one of Senegal’s main tourist attractions.

Earlier this month, unidentified gunmen in Casamance attacked a group of civilians searching for firewood, killing 14 and wounding several others.

The motives for the shooting remain unknown, and the army has since been deployed into the area to investigate.

Meanwhile, Senegal’s criminal court sentenced 13 people to prison for attempting to establish a homegrown cell modelled after Boko Haram in the West Africa country.

One of those jailed by the Dakar court on Thursday was Makhtar Diokhane, described as the ringleader of the group. He was handed a 20-year prison term.

The court was very heavy handed in sentencing our client and we are going to appeal, Diokane’s lawyer Alassane Cisse said.

Fourteen people, including two of Diokhane’s wives, were acquitted.

About 30 Senegalese were put on trial in April for their suspected involvement in the cell after some spent time in Nigeria with the armed group Boko Haram.

Attacks involving Boko Haram have displaced more than 1.8 million Nigerians in the country’s predominantly agricultural northeast over the last 10 years. An estimated 20,000 people have been killed.

Twenty-nine other suspects, three of them women, were accused of criminal conspiracy related to financing an armed group, money-laundering, and acts of terrorism.

The public prosecutor had requested life sentences for 11 of the accused, and a 30-year prison term for Alioune Ndao a popular imam from the town of Kaolack in central Senegal who was accused of acting as a coordinator. He received a suspended one-month sentence.

Most were arrested in 2015 in Senegal. Prosecutors said was their plan was to foment violence in neighbouring countries as well.

Senegal has so far escaped the al-Qaeda-linked insurgency that has destabilised neighbouring Mali along with attacks on other West African nations including Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

But Dakar has stepped up security outside hotels and publics buildings.


Tourism Observer
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