Senegal Celebrates 62 Years of Independence From France

Senegal signed the transfer of power agreement which paved the way for its official recognition as an autonomous republic on June 20 that same year.

U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in a statement on behalf of the United States of America, extended best wishes and congratulations to the people and government of Senegal on the 62nd anniversary of their independence.

“On this special day, we reiterate our commitment to the continued deepening of the ties between our countries.

“The United States and Senegal work together on a range of key priorities, including promoting participatory democracy and fostering shared prosperity, as well as our joint efforts on regional security, climate change, and public health.

“The United States appreciates Senegal’s regional leadership, and we look forward to coordinating closely with Senegal in the coming year in its role as Chair of the African Union”, he stated.

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Senegal is officially called the Republic of Senegal, a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. The state was formed as part of the independence of French West Africa from French colonial rule.

By the end of the 17th century, France had taken control of the area around modern Dakar as effectively a staging post for the Atlantic slave trade. It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that the French extended their control deeper into the mainland, taking over almost all the local kingdoms.

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In April 1959 Senegal merged with French Sudan to form the Mali Federation. A transfer of power agreement was signed with France on 4 April 1960, which led to formal independence on 20 June 1960.

The Mali Federation proved to be very short-lived and broke up on 20 August 1960, when Senegal proclaimed its independence. A month later French Sudan (later renamed the Republic of Mali) followed suit.

In celebration of Senegal’s rich culture, today’s festivities are filled with music, parades and indulging in delicious cuisines—like the national dish of thieboudienne, Senegalese Jollof rice traditionally served with vegetables and marinated fish. The Senegalese flag, depicted in today’s artwork, is hoisted proudly throughout the day. The flag’s design represents the nation’s religious heritage, wealth of natural resources, and its fight for freedom through its trio of colors: green, yellow and red.

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