Senegalese authorities close foreign embassies after attacks in Paris, Milan, Bordeaux

Senegalese authorities close foreign embassies after attacks in Paris, Milan, Bordeaux

Senegal has temporarily shut down its embassies abroad in the wake of repeated attacks on the country’s diplomatic posts in Bordeaux, Milan, Paris, and New York, among other places.

The closure of the embassies were announced in the aftermath of fatal rioting that erupted in various cities including Senegal’s capital, Dakar, when a major opposition politician, Ousmane Sonko, was sentenced to two years in prison last week in what may bar him from contesting for the 2024 presidential election.

Senegal’s foreign affairs ministry stressed in a statement that “the precautionary measure was taken following a series of aggressions… that caused serious damage.”

According to the ministry, the general consulate in Milan was particularly affected with passport-making machines and identity cards destroyed.

Violent protesters, according to a local report, broke in and ransacked the premises, attacked the consul general and started a fire before police eventually arrived.

It was also said that services would restart once working equipment and security are restored.

Meanwhile, the Senegalese government has reconnected mobile internet connectivity across the country on Tuesday, two days after it was shut in some places due to deadly rioting, according to a statement from the Communications Ministry.

Access to various social media and messaging applications were banned since Thursday, when Sonko’s sentencing prompted protests in the capital among other areas.

No fewer than 16 people were killed and hundreds injured as protesters clashed with security forces on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, making it the worst unrest to hit the West African country in several years.

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