Another year has passed in which when I heard about the “Paris-Dakar” I felt lost. The truth is the Dakar route, but in fact Paris would not be and I also didn’t know that Chile had already thought/thought of landing. In fact, Paris-Dakar lost all interest when the 2008 “Lisbon-Dakar” was cancelled, due to the terrorist threat of Al-Qaeda Maghreb Islam (AQMI), which commanded Mauritania an exclusive post to boycott this sporting event.
Portugal, in rescuing him, would go far beyond a sporting event. At the present moment in the Sahel and in Mali in particular, with the French retreating and the Russians expanding, Portugal could play in this chess with movement moves. soft power within the big regional game. Already with effective land and engaged in the transfer of Barkhane to Takuba, recovering the “Lisboa-Dakar” would mean the entire troop of Portuguese defense and security. The return of this rally to the original route meant security for the region, since 2008, and Portugal, with powers of coordination throughout the event of the same. This front, together with diplomacy, can move along the mountains an uncertain year in Mali and the Western Sahel, of which we cannot forget Mauritania, a partner whose dependencies are increasing and always denied by us. The influence that the organization of this rally could mean is in line with what I have already published here before. In other words, in the context of traditional delays in influence, not in this Africa, which we have for French, Spanish and Italians, these are rabbits taken from the hat that can leverage us towards more ambitious ambitions. Recovering the “Lisbon-Dakar Rally” is not sport, it’s politics and good.
A police force with diplomats, military and police has everything to fail, unless it becomes the national purpose. It was like that with Expo’98, it was like that with Euro 2004. It was like that with Expo’9, it was like that with coming from the ground. The terrain, in the desire to demonstrate that life goes on and that the terrorists did not win, is coordinated and overcome. This is also your national purpose. The countries involved here have a window to show the world that terrorism will not pass.
Since 1979, the Paris-Dakar has been a prestigious seal, it was never a sport, before one of the main French spears in Africa and which still glued FranceAfrique with spit. Imagine Portugal, from 2023, making Lisbon-Dakar the anchor it needs for North Africa/Sahel and riding from Bissau to Niger. Gain strategic depth, which is what you need in this “new Africa”, closer, more unknown.
Political scientist/Arabist. www.maghreb-machrek.pt.
Writes according to an old spelling