Sonko court docket look sparks unrest in Senegal’s capital


DAKAR, Senegal — Authorities forcibly eliminated Senegalese opposition chief Ousmane Sonko from his automobile Thursday and escorted him to a court docket look, blocking his supporters from following him and sparking unrest in elements of the capital.

Police fired tear gasoline in a number of elements of Dakar to disperse protesters on the third day of demonstrations in help of Sonko, who completed third within the final presidential election and is seen as a number one contender in subsequent yr’s vote.

Some protesters set hearth to buses belonging to Senegal’s nationwide public transport firm and focused French retailers. Unrest additionally was reported within the metropolis of Thies, 68 kilometers (42 miles) east of the capital, in addition to within the southern cities of Ziguinchor and Bignona and in Saint-Louis within the nation’s north.

Sonko maintains his authorized troubles are a part of an effort by President Macky Sall’s authorities to derail his candidacy within the 2024 election. The opposition determine has urged Sall to say publicly that he is not going to search a 3rd time period in workplace.

“The face of Senegal is the dictatorship of Macky with police repression,” Sonko informed journalists Thursday afternoon.

Earlier within the day, a convoy of opposition supporters spent greater than a hour making its approach between Sonko’s residence and the courthouse, the place he was to seem in reference to a civil lawsuit in opposition to him by Senegal’s tourism minister for alleged defamation.

As soon as in court docket, Sonko requested to see a physician saying he had been mishandled by police once they compelled him out of his automobile. Choose Pape Mouhamed Diop postponed the listening to till March 30.

In a separate matter, Sonko can be going through rape prices after a feminine therapeutic massage salon worker got here ahead and accused him of assault. If convicted, he faces as much as 10 years in jail and can be barred from operating for president. No date is about for this trial.

Thursday marks the second time in a month that Senegalese authorities have forcibly eliminated Sonko from his car, saying his actions brought on disruption. In mid-February, police smashed the window of his automobile so they might open the door and pressure him out.

In 2021, days of lethal protests erupted after Sonko was arrested for disturbing public order whereas on his approach to the courthouse for a scheduled look within the rape case. No less than 13 individuals died through the worst violence to rock Senegal in years.

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