Death toll in Senegal clash over biofuels land rises to two

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AFP | 26 October 2011
According to Slate Afrique from 28 October, "Four men were announced dead but for now only one case has been confirmed. The victim is a farmer leader. He was killed with a hunting rifle."

A disputed biofuels project in northern Senegal which triggered violent clashes between villagers claimed its second victim Thursday after a man died from his injuries.

Babacar Thiandom, chief doctor at the Ndioum hospital near the Fanaye village where the clashes broke out, said two people had been killed and 22 people injured.

Residents of Fanaye attacked each other with sticks and machetes in a dispute over the project which will see 20,000 hectares given to an Italian investor to cultivate sweet potatoes for the production of biofuels.

Fanaye is situated in the Senegal River valley, near the Mauritanian border, one of the country's main areas of agricultural production.

A local organisation defending land rights in the village said the project would lead to "displacement of villages, destruction of cattle and desecration of cemeteries and mosques."

Senegal has in recent years pushed the idea of using its land for biofuel production, with the backing of Brazil and fervent support of President Abdoulaye Wade.

A march against the project is planned Friday in the capital Dakar.
Original source: AFP
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