The arrest of Ms. Niang Oumou Kalsoum Sall on August 2 caused an outcry in Senegal and the embarrassment of the Canadian government. The Foreign Affairs adviser was the victim of “humiliating physical and moral violence”, being handcuffed and beaten, according to Dakar, during an intervention by the Gatineau police at her home, in the Quebec suburbs of Ottawa.
Arrest of a Senegalese diplomat: Canada recognizes an “unacceptable” incident
The intervention aimed to accompany a bailiff coming to notify the diplomat of an order from an administrative housing tribunal. This order, obtained by Radio Canada and consulted by our sources, condemned the diplomat to pay more than 45,000 Canadian dollars (34,000 euros) to her landlord for “unpaid rent” and damage to housing.
The Senegalese embassy believes that the “allegations” against Ms. Niang “betray a clear desire to dilute the seriousness of the incident, which relates to a flagrant and serious violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”. She also regrets that the information relayed by the press “is based on the only version of the lessor”.
“Set the facts”
Intended to “restore the facts”, the note details Ms. Niang’s long disputes with her landlord, arguing that the latter has been in good faith throughout, that she had suffered since the start of the heating and electricity problems. humidity due to non-compliance with construction standards and that its owner had been threatening towards it. Exasperated, Ms. Niang had finally decided to move in October 2020 and when handing over the keys offered the housing manager the last rent due, which he refused.
Violent arrest of a Senegalese diplomat: when Ottawa tries to calm Dakar
Also according to the embassy, Ms. Niang received, a few months later by way of a bailiff, a request for payment of 57,207 Canadian dollars to cover, in particular, the costs of rebuilding the house. Ms. Niang, for her part, indicated through a lawyer that she only owed the owner the rent for the month of October, which the manager had not wanted to take.
The embassy believes that in light of these explanations, the charges against Ms. Niang do not hold. “Nothing in this case can justify the violence suffered by Ms. Niang and her minor children”, concludes the embassy, indicating “to follow very closely the investigation which has been ordered into the unacceptable actions of the police officers”. The Canadian government condemned the incident, judging unacceptable.