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article imageOp-Ed: Obama visit turns African city upside down

By Gibril Koroma     Jun 26, 2013 in Politics
Dakar - Visit by American presidents anywhere in the world are usually a nightmare for the host country in terms of security arrangements, not to talk of costs. President Barack Obama's current visit to Senegal is no exception.
Obama has already landed in Senegal accompanied by his wife, two daughters, Sasha and Malia, his mother in law and niece.
But prior to this historic event Dakar, the capital has seen nightmarish road blocks and traffic jams as local and American security try to put in place the necessary security arrangements.
A journalist writing for the world famous francophone news magazine Jeune Afrique reported that most of the Senegalese press have been blocked from getting to close to Obama, access mostly given to the major international news agencies and the national state-owned media.
Even Obama's movements and the people he is going to see are kept a secret until the last moment for security reasons. The few local journalists that will be able to gain access to the presidential palace Friday morning to hear Obama speak will be carefully screened with metal detectors and other security tools.
American security are all over Dakar, since Obama's plane, Air Force One landed a couple of hours ago.
"Senegalese security have been effectively disarmed," one observer said.
Obama was received on the tarmac by Senegalese President Macky Sall, some of his cabinet ministers and the American ambassador to Senegal, Lewis Lukens.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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