France, Senegal sign agreement on management of migratory flows
DAKAR, Feb 2, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX) —
Senegal and France have signed an amendment to the agreement on the joint management of migratory flows between the two countries in order to enhance the issuance of visas to Senegalese nationals, the official Senegalese News Agency has reported.
“This amendment is taking into account the concerns that have been expressed by Senegal. Ratification procedures being lengthy, we could not wait for the agreement to be ratified in order to enforce it,” Senegalese ambassador to France Salla Doudou Diop was quoted as saying at a press conference Friday.
“This is not a new agreement. However, it takes into account the details that were not specified in the earlier framework agreement, which is awaiting ratification,” said the ambassador.
The signing of the latest agreement is coming shortly after experts from both countries held lengthy deliberations Thursday and Friday.
On July 26, 2006, the governments of Senegal and France concluded an agreement on the joint management of migratory flows.
According to Senegal's ambassador to France, the main innovation behind the new agreement is that for the first time since 1974 Senegalese nationals will have the opportunity to acquire residence permits allowing them to immigrate, live and work legally in France.
“The other innovation,” he said, is that the document offers the possibility for a Senegalese national already living illegally in France to legalize their status depending on whether one has a stable profession and whether French companies would like to make use of his/her services.”
“The agreement also allows an illegal immigrant to invoke humanitarian grounds as reason for staying in France,” according to the ambassador, who said that this “means that the agreement is very beneficial to illegal immigrants.”