Fresh Call For Protests In Senegal

Following recent unrest in Senegal that has left some 16 people dead and over 500 arrested, protesters have made another call for a three-day intense protest across the country.

Calls have gone out for three more days of protest in Senegal, as unrest connected to upcoming elections continues.

The fresh call for “total civil disobedience” has been shared on several social media platforms in Senegal and beyond.

Protesters are calling for schools, shops, administrative buildings, banks and transport sectors shut down between Monday June 5 to Wednesday 7 June.

Early reports say some communities have started responding to calls with no school attendance today at Sedhiou, a town in the Casamance area of the country.

The three-day unrest in Senegal comes after the arrest and sentencing of a popular opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko.

He was handed a two year jail term for “corrupting the youth”, preventing Sonko from running for the February Presidential elections in Senegal. He was also accused of raping a woman in a massage parlour and threatening her to keep quiet, charges Sonko denies.

Term limit

President Macky Sall is seeking another term in office after surpassing the two-year presidential term limit. The government cut access to mobile internet connection in some parts of the country on Sunday,  in order to stop the sharing of  “hateful and subversive” messages.

Protests extended to the diaspora as many Senegalese marched in Paris, France on Sunday afternoon against the government back home. Protesters also vandalized the office of Senegal’s embassy in Paris, taking down the picture of President Macky Sall.

Media reports indicate over 16 people have been killed during the unrest, and more than 500 arrested.

Seydi Gassama, Executive Director of Amnesty Senegal, in a Facebook post recalled that during the era of President Abdou Diouf, the police and gendarmes were never used to prevent political opponents. 

“We further call on the Senegalese authorities to conduct credible and independent investigations into the deaths that occurred during the demonstrations in Dakar and Ziguinchor. We would remind the Senegalese authorities that force must only be used where necessary and in a proportionate manner. Everyone’s life and physical integrity must be respected and protected by the forces of law and order,” Gassama said in a statement released by Amnesty International.

The headquarters of most international organizations and banks are based in Dakar, Senegal because of its stable and democratic past.

Neighboring countries to Senegal have begun making calls for the government to settle the unrest peacefully. The President of The Gambia in a press release said it was concerned with the recent developments.

“The Gambia government calls on our Senegalese brothers and sisters to give peace a chance and actively participate in the ongoing inclusive political dialogue”, it said.

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