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Police arrest dozens of protesters in Dakar as court jails opposition leader

Police in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, made dozens of arrests on Thursday as supporters of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko protested against a court’s decision that sentenced Mr Ousmane to prison.

The opposition leader’s supporters claim that Mr Sonko is being tried for false charges that are intended to prevent him from running for president in the country’s elections next year, which has heightened tensions.

Mr Sonko was found guilty on Thursday for claiming that the tourism minister had embezzled money. Although he received a two-month sentence with a suspended prison term, he will still be able to run for president. Additionally, he is accused of multiple rapes. His rape arrest sparked a series of violent protests in March 2021 that resulted in the deaths of 14 people.

Both accusations, according to his supporters, were made up to thwart his presidential campaign.

The most recent protests started on March 14 and have since turned violent. According to rights organisation Amnesty International, between March 14 and 16, more than 130 protesters were detained, and three of them were killed.

Many Senegalese are enraged by Macky Sall’s refusal to indicate whether he will run for a contentious third term in the upcoming elections. Mr Sall changed the constitutionally permitted term limits, which many fear will be used as an excuse for a third presidential bid.

One of the protesters, identified as Abdul Diop said he was ready to give his life to fight Mr Sall’s government “I came here today to fight against the injustices reigning over Senegal, to fight against Macky Sall’s dictatorship. Senegal is being subjected to a dictatorial regime, to a tyranny. That’s why we’re here. We’re ready, ready to give our lives,” he said.

Source: GazetteNGR



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