“The government regrets the loss of four human lives”, said live on television, Friday evening, the Minister of the Interior, Antoine Félix Abdoulaye Diome, while the toll was until then of a young person killed Thursday in southern Senegal. Diome accused Ousmane Sonko of being responsible for this violence by having “launched calls for violence” and “insurrection”. The minister condemned “acts of a terrorist nature” and called for “calm, serenity and appeasement”. Thanks to the current vaccination campaign, he also mentioned the “prospect of reducing the curfew”, which since January has worsened the often already precarious situation of many Senegalese.
On Friday evening, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “very concerned” and called “to avoid an escalation”
Sunday, end of custody of Sonko
In a country usually considered an island of stability in West Africa, the tensions, sensitive for two days, have intensified with no apparent prospect of appeasement, the justice system having kept Ousmane Sonko in police custody. Several districts of Dakar and towns in the interior have experienced clashes of an unknown extent for several years, although the police response seems to be limited mainly to riot control.
Ousmane Sonko’s custody is due to end on Sunday. He will be presented to the judge again on Monday, according to his lawyers.
As a reminder, the main opponent of power was officially arrested for disturbing public order while going in procession to the court where he was summoned to respond to charges of rape brought against him by an employee of a salon beauty salon in which he was going to get a massage to relieve his back pain, he said. Ousmane Sonko, who refutes these accusations, is the subject of an “attempted liquidation for the purpose of eliminating a political opponent,” denounced one of his lawyers, Abdoulaye Tall. A personality with an anti-system profile, the deputy shouts at the plot hatched by President Macky Sall to remove him from the next presidential election. Sall denied at the end of February, but has since remained silent on the matter.
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