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Religious brotherhoods in Senegal

Religious brotherhoods play a major role in Senegalese society. Spiritually and economically powerful, these groups can act as lobbies and jeopardize the State secularism.

The Mouride Brotherhood, whose spiritual centre is in the city of Touba, 200 kilometres from Dakar, is the most powerful of these religious groups. Groundnuts production and trade are under its control and the brotherhood claims four millions disciples, including outgoing president Abdoulaye Wade. First Mouride president of Senegal, Wade speaks openly of his obedience and uses politically his supports in his community.

Wades declarations dont go down well with other brotherhoods. The Laynes of Dakar, a minority group, are considering themselves cheated because of their belief: government refusing the transfer of a water purification plant that flows its garbage on the beach in their district.

Nevertheless, according to political observers, Cheikh Maty Lye Mback, Mourides supreme authority, didnt gave any voting instructions for the next presidential elections.

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