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Thursday May 30, 2024

Death toll rises to 15 in Senegal

By AFP
June 04, 2023

DAKAR: Tensions remained high in Senegal on Saturday after fresh overnight clashes brought the death toll to 15 in the two days since a court convicted opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. Sonko’s ongoing legal woes have prompted rare flare-ups of violence in Senegal, typically a bastion of stability in West Africa, and foreign allies have urged a return to calm.

Sonko, a 48-year-old former tax inspector, was initially charged with rape but was convicted on a lesser charge of morally “corrupting” a young woman and sentenced to two years in prison. He claims the charges against him were a bid by the government to torpedo his political career ahead of the presidential election next year. His conviction may take him out of the running for the 2024 poll.

Clashes between Sonko´s supporters and police broke out after the ruling on Thursday, leaving nine people dead. Shops and businesses were ransacked. The army was deployed to the streets but fresh scuffles erupted on Friday night in parts of the capital, Dakar, and in Ziguinchor.