Three folks died throughout clashes between Senegalese police and supporters of opposition chief Ousmane Sonko, the authorities mentioned on Tuesday, amid flaring tensions triggered by a authorized showdown.
Two younger folks have been discovered useless in a single day within the capital Dakar and southern metropolis of Ziguinchor, the place a policeman died on Monday after being unintentionally crushed by an armoured anti-riot car, the inside ministry mentioned.
Crowds in Ziguinchor, the place Sonko is mayor, on Monday hurled stones at police who responded with tear fuel, in keeping with an AFP correspondent there.
In Dakar, round 20 autos at a depot belonging to the nationwide bus firm have been torched, and the native press mentioned two shops belonging to the French grocery store chain Auchan, which has been continuously focused in disturbances, have been additionally attacked.
The violence erupted on the eve of a scheduled court docket look by Sonko, who’s dealing with trial for the alleged rape of an worker at a magnificence salon the place he went for a therapeutic massage.
Younger demonstrators in Ziguinchor on Tuesday blocked off the streets resulting in his dwelling, a few of them holding rocks or wielding metal bars, to stop the authorities from taking him.
Sonko’s trial opened in the meantime in Dakar, greater than 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the north, and was instantly adjourned till Could 23 after he failed to point out.
His accuser Adji Sarr, a lady in her twenties, and Sonko’s co-accused, Ndeye Khady Ndiaye, who owns the therapeutic massage parlour the place the alleged rape happened, have been each current.
“I really feel superb. I’ve confidence. We’re going to win. It is a pity that after ready two years for a trial, he (Sonko) has fled,” Sarr mentioned, talking earlier than proceedings opened.
Sonko, 48, who was additionally not too long ago sentenced to a six-month suspended jail sentence for defamation and insults towards the tourism minister, has denied the cost.
Sonko, president of the PASTEF-Patriots occasion, got here in third within the 2019 presidential elections.
He says the authorized circumstances towards him are a plot aimed toward barring him from contesting the 2024 vote.
Senegal is historically a beacon of stability in troubled West Africa, however in recent times has been buffeted by turbulence that has at occasions turned lethal.
When Sonko was arrested in 2021, a number of days of protests left a minimum of 12 folks useless.
The inside ministry on Tuesday didn’t instantly attribute the newest demise of the 2 younger folks to the protests, however mentioned it “strongly urges mother and father to stop their youngsters from participating in violent demonstrations.”
These occasions are liable to “assaults, theft, looting and different acts of vandalism,” it mentioned.