From the French point of view, France’s “exit” from Senegal was successful, as the transfer of power occurred smoothly and without any significant bloodshed. This apparent success was achieved despite the fact that there was no carefully elaborated French strategy for the transfer of power to African political leaders. This chapter analyses the specific set of historical circumstances that made such a peaceful transition possible. It argues that in order to understand this relatively smooth transition we need to take into account the continuing political commitment, on both the African and French sides, to the maintenance of the French presence in Senegal post-independence.
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