Senegal severs ties with Iran | News | Al Jazeera

Senegal severs ties with Iran

Senegal's foreign ministry accuses Tehran of supplying weapons to separatist rebels in its southern Casamance region.

    The incident has soured relations between Senegalese president Wade, left, and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [AFP]

    Senegal has cut diplomatic ties with Iran, accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to separatist rebels in its southern Casamance region, the foreign ministry said.

    "Senegal has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the Republic of Iran," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The statement linked the Iranian weapons with an attack on Sunday in Casamance, the latest in a string of such attacks by rebels engaged in one of Africa's longest-running conflicts, which resulted in the deaths of three Senegalese troops.

    'Iranian bullets'

    "The report presented to the president of the Republic [Abdoulaye Wade] by the army chief of staff on recent developments in Casamance has shown that the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) was using sophisticated weapons which caused the death of Senegalese soldiers," the statement said.

    "Senegal is outraged to see that Iranian bullets caused the death of three Senegalese soldiers."

    The row is the latest in a spate of diplomatic upsets between Iran and West African nations over alleged arms smuggling that has damaged the Iranian government's search for trade partners on the continent.

    In December, Senegal recalled its ambassador to Iran, saying the government of the west African country was unsatisfied with explanations given by Iranian officials over a seizure of mortars and rockets in Nigeria in October.

    Neighbouring Gambia has also cut ties with Tehran over the arms shipment.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.