SENEGAL-SOCIETE / Refugees: Senegal is finalizing the processing of 491 naturalization applications – Senegalese Press Agency

Dakar, June 20 (APS) – The State of Senegal is finalizing the naturalization procedures of 491 refugees established in the Senegal River valley (north), a sign of progress noted in this area, declared Thursday in Dakar, Vice-Admiral Oumar Wade, president of the National Committee for the Management of Refugees, Displaced Persons and Stateless Persons (CNRPD).

Four hundred and ninety-one requests “are being processed with the competent services, and we hope to finalize them during this year,” he said on the occasion of the celebration of World Refugee Day.

“The naturalization procedure carried out by the State of Senegal allowed 313 refugees living in the Senegal River valley to benefit from a naturalization decree in 2023”, knowing that 61 refugees had previously been naturalized, recalled the president of the CNRPD.

Five of them “will receive here, on a symbolic basis, this essential document on a legal level, which will give them opportunities for socio-economic integration,” said the vice-admiral, special chief of staff of the president of the Republic.

“These data fall short of the objectives targeted” by Senegal, he reported during the ceremony dedicated to World Refugee Day.

The question of naturalization, added Oumar Wade, “is a perfect illustration of the theme of the celebration of World Refugee Day, solidarity with refugees”.

He assures that the State of Senegal, signatory to the United Nations protocols and conventions in this area, “has taken the resolute option of integrating refugees into the national community”.

The president of the CNRPD recalls that Senegal adopted in 2022 the law relating to the status of refugees and stateless persons. The Senegalese State thus undertakes to strengthen their legal and social protection, according to him.

Oumar Wade wants the Senegalese to show solidarity with refugees, displaced people and stateless people. “These people who fled violence and persecution” need “good living conditions” in Senegal, he said.

“We must ensure their health and a secure environment,” added the president of the CNRPD.

The representative in Senegal of the United Nations agency responsible for refugees, Ali Mahamat, expressed his gratitude to the Senegalese authorities for the gesture of “major solidarity” consisting of issuing naturalization decrees to “400 Mauritanian refugees living in Senegal ”.

“I would like to salute this gesture, which is a gesture of solidarity par excellence. The Senegalese government continues to show its solidarity with refugees, through their inclusion in national programs,” he recognized.

Ali Mahamat praised Senegal’s commitment in this area, which, according to him, translates into “priority inclusion” of the refugee issue on the authorities’ agenda.

He reports that around 11,000 refugees live in Senegal, most of them from Mauritania and living in the Senegal River valley.

Refugees present at the ceremony recited poems on the theme of solidarity. Students were rewarded at the end of a poetry competition.

FKS/BK/ESF/ADL

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