'Give us back our Dakar rally!'

2013-01-10 09:27

DAKAR, Senegal - Singer and current Senegalese tourism minister Youssou n'Dour believes it's time for the Dakar rally, held in South America for the past five years, to return home to its roots... Senegal.

The past five races, currently under way in Peru, have been held outside Senegal because of security problems five years ago but N'Dour says it should "resume its route" back in Africa or else change its name, a source close to him told AFP.


Charles Faye, N'Dour's communications officer, said: "For Youssou N'Dour, there is no question of the rally continuing to retain the Dakar name and yet not run in Africa. Either the race resumes in Africa - or it drops the Dakar name."

"The organisers are free to go where they want but they shouldn't keep the Dakar name (as that entails) using backing (from advertisers) which earn money," Faye indicated, claiming that Dakar was losing "considerably" in terms of tourism since the event moved continents.

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The decision to move the race came in 2007 after the murder of four French tourists in Mauritania by a pro-Al Qaeda group in the Maghreb as well as the killings of three Mauritanian soldiers. The killings, just before the race was due to begin, saw the participants stay in Lisbon rather than head for Africa and the race was cancelled.

The event was then moved to South America, which also has deserts, beaches and wild mountainous terrain.

The 2013 race, running to January 20, takes in Peru and Chile as well as making an incursion into Argentina and crossing the Andes mountains.


  • settie.zuweni - 2013-01-10 09:34

    He did not read the fine print when this race started long time ago! It seems not fair for Senegal but there are still some security challenges in that region.

  • edwin.butler.7 - 2013-01-10 13:07

    Look who's woken up. Typical. We want, you must or! Instead of spending his time and energy previoulsy in security matters which resulted in the race being moved in the first place.

  • peter.gugelmin - 2013-01-10 14:04

    A new one for afrocentricism. "Give us!" It goes well with "we want, we need, we demand, we insist"

  • nbasson - 2013-01-10 17:26

    LOL! No. Shut you entitled mouth up.

  • klaus.walter.7146 - 2013-01-10 18:07

    The race will never return to Senegal. South America is much, much safer, got enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans who do not steal, brake things and are very helpful.

  • nico.leroux1 - 2013-01-11 00:12

    No!!!! Africa does not deserve Dakar. You murder and rape. That is what you are good at!!!

  • colin.ashby.35 - 2013-01-11 09:48

    he wants it for free.he must tell hi neighbouring countries to stop the murder

  • thaluki.malema - 2013-01-21 06:36

    Useless africans can only plunder, kill & destroy. And hold their dirty paws for handouts.

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