Senegal became the first country to replicate the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) during it February 2012 presidential election following a successful process in Liberia in October and November 2011 and the adoption of the process by the African Union (AU) as best practice. This election was described as the most contentious presidential election in the history of the country with far-reaching implications on the future of the nation. Activities leading up to the elections had been punctuated by protests, chaos and violence amid growing constitutional controversy surrounding President Abdoulaye Wade’s third term re-election bid
As a peace and security mechanism with the core objective to mobilize, harness and employ the expertise and experiences of women to take action to prevent or mitigate potential conflicts and other threats that could escalate into violence, the Senegalese women developed common strategies that reduced tensions before, during and after the presidential elections.
The women in collaboration with the youth created safe spaces for consultations with all parties and stakeholders involved in the elections, where they were encouraged to be involved in the peace advocacy, mediation, coordination, political analysis, observation and documentation of the process. Diverse youth from all backgrounds, especially the disenfranchised and gang youth were equally encouraged to commit themselves to the promotion of peace.
The success of the WSR’s mediation efforts, credited to the women from Senegal and other African countries alike ensured that the election that witnessed the defeat of the incumbent president still remained peaceful.
Senegal 2012 News
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