France, May 17 -- The newly elected Sonko, who gained power when his hand-picked presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye won a decisive victory in March, is known for criticising perceived overreach by France in its former colony.

France has about 350 troops stationed in Senegal.

"More than 60 years after our independence ... we must question the reasons why the French army still benefits from several military bases in our country and the impact of this presence on our national sovereignty and strategic autonomy," Sonko said.

He was speaking at an event at Dakar University on Thursday night alongside French hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is visiting the country.

Sonko said Senegal's desire for autonomy over its security...