Friday, April 12, 2024

Senegal: Tension heightens over arrest of opposition leader

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

There is heightened tension in Senegal following the arrest of opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko who is due to appear in court on Friday on rape charges.

Clashes erupted in Dakar on Thursday between Students at the Cheick Anta Diop University and law enforcement officials over the arrest.

At least one person has been reported dead as a result of the clashes sparked by students setting barricades and throwing projectiles at riot police.

The police also responded by shooting tear gas and other types of non-lethal ammunition into the protesters.

Thursday’s protest was the second consecutive day of demonstrations in various Senegalese cities in support of Sonko.

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The protests were also in protest of President Macky Sall’s government, according to local media reporting.

Sonko, placed third in the 2019 presidential elections and is considered a strong contender for the scheduled 2024 vote.

He has described the case against him as politically motivated and an attempt by President Macky Sall’s allies to prevent him from running in the next election.

Senegal‘s parliament voted last week to strip Mr Sonko’s immunity so the rape trial could proceed.

Meanwhile the two TV stations have had their operations suspended by the National Audiovisual Regulatory Council (CNRA) for broadcasting the protests.

Sen TV and Walf TV channels have been accused of broadcasting “in loop” images of the unrest after Mr Sonko’s arrest.

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