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As political tensions rise in Senegal, Ban urges all sides to refrain from violence

31 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern today about mounting political tensions in Senegal, where voters go to the polls in less than a month to elect a president.

Media reports indicate that two people were shot dead during protests yesterday over the decision of incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a third term as leader of the West African nation. Further demonstrations have been planned and the election is slated to take place on 26 February.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “urges all political parties and national stakeholders to refrain from violence in the pursuit of their objectives and to pursue peaceful means to resolve all electoral grievances.”

The UN chief called on all concerned people and groups to ensure the “enabling conditions for transparent, credible and peaceful elections that reflect the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the people of Senegal.”

He also underlined the need for Senegalese authorities to act in a way that preserves and consolidates the country’s democratic traditions, which he noted “have laid the foundations for its long history of stability and social cohesion.”

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