US pledges support for Senegal

US pledges support for Senegal

The United States has pledged support for Senegal.

This was disclosed during a phone conversation between the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, on Wednesday June 7, 2023.

A State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, confirmed in a statement that Blinken expressed his condolences for those killed and injured during the recent violence.

According to the statement, the two leaders discussed the political situation and recent unrest in the African country.

The Secretary of State reiterated the United States’ support for the Senegalese people and democratic values in the face of the waves of days of unrest in the West African country.

The clashes first broke out last week Thursday, after the opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko was convicted of corrupting youth but acquitted on charges of raping a woman who worked at a massage parlour and making death threats against her.

Sonko, who didn’t attend his trial in Dakar, was sentenced to two years in prison. His lawyer said a warrant had not yet been issued for his arrest.

The days of tension in Senegal led to the killing of no fewer than 16 people including security officers.

The protests spread outside Senegal with some of its citizens attacking the country’s embassies.

This forces the Senegalese authorities to temporarily shut down its embassies abroad, especially in the country’s diplomatic posts in Bordeaux, Milan, Paris, and New York, among other places.

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

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