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Senegal protests after arrest of opposition leader

March 6, 2021 12:12 pm

Violent protests have hit Senegal for a third day as demonstrators burnt cars and clashed with police after the arrest of an opposition leader on Wednesday.

Four people have died in the rare unrest, the interior minister said.

Ousmane Sonko appeared in court on Friday accused of disrupting public order. He also faces a rape allegation.

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He denies the allegations and his supporters say the accusations are politically motivated.

On Friday Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome vowed to use “all the means necessary for a return to order”.

Speaking on national TV, Mr Diome accused Mr Sonko of “issuing calls to violence”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged protesters and police to refrain from violence in the nation which is one of West Africa’s most stable countries.

On Friday police fired tear gas at Mr Sonko’s supporters, who set up makeshift barricades in the capital Dakar where the ground was covered in burnt debris and people chanted “Free Sonko”.

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