Senegal protests turn deadly as political crisis deepens following election delay

by MMC
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Senegal’s political crisis deepened with the death of a second person on Saturday in increasingly violent protests against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the upcoming presidential elections.

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A 23-year-old man died Saturday after being shot clashes in the capital Dakar, two of his relatives told AFP, while one A 22-year-old student has died Friday in the northern city of Saint-Louis in still uncertain circumstances.

“The international and regional community must bear witness to the excesses of this moribund regime,” said presidential candidate Khalifa Sall (no relation).

Modou Gueye, a market seller, took “a live bullet in the stomach” on Friday in the Colobane district of the capital Dakar, said his brother Dame Gueye, 29, who was with him at the time.

His brother-in-law Mbagnick Ndiaye said he died of his injuries on Saturday morning.

Authorities have not yet confirmed Gueye’s death, but videos posted on social media suggest other people were also injured.

In Saint-Louis, Alpha Yoro Tounkara died on the campus of Gaston Berger University where he was studying geography, and around a hundred of his comrades stayed up all night for him.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement denying that security forces operated on the university campus.

Reputation in question

Anger has risen since President Sall last week postponed to December a presidential election is scheduled for February 25. The postponement came a few hours before the start of the official campaign.

Protests took place across the country on Friday and police widely used tear gas to keep crowds away from a central square in Dakar, also closing main roads, railways and main markets.

Reporters Without Borders said at least five journalists had been targeted by police in Dakar.

Learn moreSenegal’s democratic record hangs in the balance as presidential vote delay sparks crisis

A new series of protests is planned for Tuesday.

Sall said he had postponed the elections due to a dispute between Parliament and the Constitutional Council over potential candidates who had not been allowed to run, and said he wanted to begin a process ” appeasement and reconciliation.

The postponement was criticized by the UNITED STATES And European Union. SenegalParliament backed the move after security forces stormed the chamber and expelled some opposition MPs.

Parliament also voted to keep Sall in power until his successor takes office, which is not expected to happen until early 2025. His second term was due to end on April 2.

The crisis has called into question the West African country’s reputation for democratic stability in a region plagued by military coups.


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