Violent protests have hit Senegal for a 3rd day as demonstrators burnt vehicles and clashed with police after the arrest of an opposition chief on Wednesday.
4 individuals have died within the uncommon unrest, the inside minister stated.
Ousmane Sonko appeared in courtroom on Friday accused of disrupting public order. He additionally faces a rape allegation.
He denies the allegations and his supporters say the accusations are politically motivated.
On Friday Inside Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome vowed to make use of “all the means necessary for a return to order”.
Talking on nationwide TV, Mr Diome accused Mr Sonko of “issuing calls to violence”.
UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres has urged protesters and police to chorus from violence within the nation which is one in all West Africa’s most secure international locations.
On Friday police fired tear fuel at Mr Sonko’s supporters, who arrange makeshift barricades within the capital Dakar the place the bottom was coated in burnt particles and other people chanted “Free Sonko”.
Police blocked motorbikes and mopeds, that are well-liked amongst Mr Sonko’s younger supporters, from the town’s streets. A grocery store in Dakar’s suburbs was raided on Friday, in response to AFP information company.
“What we are living through in this country is incredible, it is shameful,” one protester instructed Reuters information company.
Demonstrators have gathered within the metropolis’s surrounding areas and within the southern metropolis of Bignona, a stronghold of Mr Sonko.
Two non-public TV channels that coated the protests have been suspended for 72 hours by the federal government.
The United Nations’ particular envoy for West Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas has appealed for calm.
Among the protesters have focused French-owned companies reminiscent of supermarkets and petrol stations as a result of they are saying that underneath President Macky Sall, France has prolonged its financial pursuits in its former colony.
Mr Sonko, 46, was accused of rape in February by a girl who labored in a magnificence salon.
Following an investigation he was arrested on Wednesday and brought to courtroom accompanied by a gaggle of supporters.
Police stated they then arrested him for disrupting public order when he refused to vary his path to the courtroom.
Mr Sonko says the allegations of rape are fabricated. He accuses President Sall of attempting to take away potential opponents forward of the 2024 election. Two different opposition leaders have been excluded from the 2019 election after being convicted on fees which they are saying have been politically motivated.
There are stories that Mr Sall could search to vary the structure to permit him to run for a 3rd time period.
Mr Sonko is the president’s solely remaining critical challenger, BBC Afrique’s Ndèye Khady Lo in Dakar says.
She explains that the opposition politician is especially well-liked with younger Senegalese for his promise of radical opposition to what he calls “the system”.
In 2014 he based his personal political occasion, Nastef, and got here third within the 2019 presidential election with 15% of the vote.
In a video recorded and shared on social media in 2018, Mr Sonko instructed activists: “There is enormous potential in this country. It is unacceptable to see suffering of our people.
“Our legislators are criminals. Those that have dominated Senegal from the start should be shot.”
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