Senegal: Nine people killed in clashes after condemnation of opposition figure Sonko

Senegal: Nine people killed in clashes after condemnation of opposition figure Sonko

Nine people were killed Thursday in clashes in the wake of a court condemnation of opposition iconic member Ousmane Sonko, a candidate in the 2024 presidential election, to two years’ imprisonment on a charge of “corrupting young people”. Protests erupted in several cities of the country following the court’s Thursday decision, in support to Sonko who enjoys a massive popularity.

Interior Minister Antoine Diome announced the restriction of access to some mobile applications and social media, saying that it would prevent the spread of hate speech and calls for protests, which could exacerbate an already tense situation in the country.

The West African country was mired in a tense political climate Thursday in expectation of a court verdict over a case of rape against Sonko sued by a young woman. The politician has denied any wrongdoing and accused incumbent leader Macky Sall for orchestrating a plot against him.

The criminal division of the Dakar-based court Thursday acquitted Sonko but pressed a two-year sentence against him for “corrupting young people – consisting of poaching or encouraging the debauchery of a young person under the age of 21”.

The court decision is feared to jeopardize Sonko’s right to run in the next year’s presidential election under the country’s law.

Senegalese will head to polls to elect a new leader on the 25th of February 2024. Sall who has been running the country since 2012, under the amended Constitution dating back to 2016, is not legible to run for a third term, but critics argue that he intends to seek a new spell in power.

Share This