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Dakar Shakes Off its Colonial Past

Goree, an island in Senegal linked closely with slave trade, has decided to rename one of its main squares in response to the ongoing racism in the world. The municipal council unanimously agreed to rename the Europe Square, Liberty and Human Dignity Square. According to a statement from authorities, the move is in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the world, denouncing recurrent racial violence targeted at the black community. The 28-hectare island, situated two kilometres offshore from Dakar, was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast between the 15th and 19th century, according to the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO. Goree Island is also registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage centre and act as a “symbol of human exploitation.” The Europe Square was inaugurated in 2003 by Mayor Senghor and the then President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. The inauguration of Freedom Square – will include events to pay tribute to George Floyd and all victims of racial crimes.