Clashes in Senegal kill one after arrest of opposition leader Sonko
Senegalese police clashed with supporters of arrested opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on Thursday, leaving one person dead in the south of the country, a police official said.
It was the first death confirmed in clashes since Sonko was arrested on Wednesday for disturbing public order as protests broke out ahead of his court appearance on a rape charge.
Sonko, leader of the opposition Pastef party and former presidential candidate, is considered a key potential challenger for President Macky Sall in elections in three years.
One person was killed in clashes on Thursday in Bignona town, in the southern Casamance region, the police official said.
“We still don’t know the cause, it is under investigation,” said the official who asked not to be identified.
Four police were also injured in the fighting.
Sonko’s arrest has triggered the worst unrest seen in Dakar in years, in a West African country known for its stability.
Supporters of Senegal's opposition leader Ousmane Sonko protest in Dakar after he was arrested ahead of his scheduled court appearance to face a rape charge.
Sonko was arrested on charges of disturbing public order after his supporters and security forces began to clash pic.twitter.com/fZEpFyAi19
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 4, 2021
Dozens of students were still holed up in Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop university on Thursday, where they threw concrete blocks at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Sonko was to be transferred Thursday evening to a Dakar courthouse where his case will be heard by a judge. But his lawyers said the hearing had been postponed to Friday.
“Ousmane Sonko is now the subject of a warrant. He will be taken to the investigating magistrate tomorrow, willingly or by force,” Abdoulaye Tall, one of his attorneys, told AFP.
Senegalese regulatory authorities on Thursday also suspended the signal of two local television channels, Sen TV and Walf TV, accusing them of broadcasting “in loop” images of the unrest after Sonko’s arrest…..read more