Clashes erupted in Dakar on Thursday between Students at the Cheick Anta Diop University and law enforcement officials following the arrest a day earlier of Senegal’s main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko — who is due to be heard on Friday by a judge on rape charges.
Students were seen setting barricades and throwing projectiles at riot police, who responded by shooting tear gas and other types of non-lethal ammunition.
It is the second consecutive day of demonstrations in various Senegalese cities in support of Sonko and in protest of President Macky Sall’s government
Local media outlets report at least one death in Thursday’s skirmishes in Bignona town in the Casamance region.
Sonko — who placed third in the 2019 presidential elections and is a strong contender for the scheduled 2024 vote.
The politician who has been active since 2021 was summoned by a judge on Wednesday to face rape allegations after his parliamentary immunity was lifted last week.
He was arrested that same day on charges of disturbing the public order after hundreds of his supporters clashed with police on his way to court.
Sonko’s supporters have publicly expressed their belief that the charges brought against him are politically motivated.