• World - Africa
  • Updated: May 15, 2023

Senegal: Police, Opposition Supporters Clash In Casamance

Senegal: Police, Opposition Supporters Clash In Casamance

Police and Young People Clash In Senegal.

Clashes erupted between the police and young supporters of the Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on Monday in Ziguinchor, Casamance (south), on the eve of the planned rape trial against the latter. 

An AFP correspondent stated that when groups of young people threw stones at the security personnel, they used tear gas to defend themselves. 

Sonko's supporters blocked certain streets with stone blocks, logs, and burned tires.

Ousmane Sonko, president of the Pastef-les Patriotes party, is supposed to be in Ziguinchor, the city of which he is mayor when he must be in Dakar on Tuesday for a trial for rape and death threats against an employee of a beauty salon in the capital.

According to Sonko, he is the subject of a power play intended to prevent him from running for president in 2024. 

He said that he would stop responding to summonses from the court system, which he believed was being used against him.

He runs the risk of being forcibly taken to court or facing an absentee trial.

According to reports in the media, a sizable group of followers gathered near his home in Ziguinchor on Sunday night to spend the night and act as a human barrier against an attempted arrest.

Following the texts, Sonko must show up at the court registry on Monday to stand trial. 

When questioned by AFP, neither the attorneys nor the spokesperson for his party indicated whether the individual continued to refuse to show up.

All along, Sonko has denied the rapes and threats.

His court appearances have frequently resulted in incidents or heightened tension in Dakar. 

His critics charge him of using the streets as a means of evading prosecution or inciting an "insurrectional" project.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
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