Saint Louis (Senegal) (AFP) - Senegal's annual Saint-Louis Jazz festival will take place in the West African nation next week as planned, after officials who cancelled it due to security concerns reversed their decision on Wednesday.
Organisers welcomed the decision via the festival's official Twitter account, tweeting: "Victory: the ban on the Saint-Louis Jazz Festival is lifted."
The announcement that the festival would go ahead after all, but with extra security, was made by the Saint-Louis governor Alioune Aidara Niang and president of the Saint-Louis Jazz Association Ibrahima Diop at a news conference.
"The number of security staff needed for the safety of the event goes far beyond the capacity of the Saint-Louis Jazz Association and that we understand," the governor said, adding that measures were being taken to ensure security was "up to standard".
The annual jazz festival, scheduled to run from May 11-15 in the northwestern Saint-Louis region, was called off on Tuesday.
Mariama Traore, prefect for the region, said all events linked to the festival had been "banned" with the decision based on "the prevailing security environment, the vulnerability of the municipality of Saint-Louis and the refusal of the organisers to engage in the security efforts", without specifying any security threats.
Senegal's president Macky Sall announced last month that he would boost manpower and equipment for military and civil defence forces in the face of increasingly bold attacks by jihadists in neighbouring countries.
The west African nation has until now avoided the kind of deadly attacks mounted by Al-Qaeda-linked groups that have claimed dozens of lives in Burkina Faso, Mali and most recently Ivory Coast.
Several local and international artists are lined up to play at the 24th Saint-Louis Jazz festival including Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, US jazz fusion bassist Marcus Miller and Senegal's own Cheikh Lo.