Senegal: Death toll rises to 10 as protest enters second day

Senegal: Death toll rises to 10 as protest enters second day

Death toll has risen to ten in Senegal in the violent clashes between police and supporters of the opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, after he was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of corrupting young people.

A renewed protest was launched on Friday which led to the death of one person as police and protesters clashed for a second day since the sentencing of the opposition politician.

Sonko was convicted on Thursday of corrupting Senegalese youth but acquitted on counts of raping and threatening a salon employee.

Sonko, who is yet to respond to the ruling, was sentenced to two years in prison after failing to appear at his trial in Dakar, the capital.

His supporters maintained that the trials against him are part of the President Macky Sall-led government to derail his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election.

The court sentence has sparked one of the deadliest violence in recent memory of the West African country.

Violent protesters attacked supermarkets, shops, banks, police stations and public transport networks. Similar incidents were recorded in other regions of the country on Friday.

Recall that the Senegalese authorities restricted access to all social media platforms as part of efforts to quell the protest.

According to government spokesman, Abdou Karim Fofana, the damage caused by months of protests has cost the country millions of dollars . He emphasised that the demonstrators were a threat to the country’s democracy.

Meanwhile, rights groups have condemned the government crackdown, including arbitrary arrests and restrictions on social media.

In its part, France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs stated that it was “extremely concerned by the violence” and urged a settlement to the problem in accordance with Senegal’s historic democratic heritage.

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