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Senegalese activist released, calls for exit of big French retail companies

The Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna is calling on big French retail companies to ''get out of Senegal''.   -  
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A day after his release from police custody, Guy Marius Sagna, a well-known Senegalese figure, spoke against French influence in the country Thursday.

Targeting big French retail companies, the head of the movement Frapp-France dégage said he was making the call in the interest of Senegalese shoppers and the people of Africa.

"If the goal is to prevent us from saying: 'Auchan, Carrefour, get out!' and being straightforward that we prefer to defend the interests of Senegalese shopkeepers rather than imperialist shopkeepers, you are wasting your time. Today, more than ever, we say: 'GIs, go home!' and 'French army, out!'. 'European ships, out of African seas!' because we think that we have to defend first the interests of the African people", the activist said.

On Wednesday, a Senegalese court granted preliminary release of three activists for insurrection, prosecutors said.

The three, Guy Marius Sagna, Cledor Sene and Assane Diouf, were apprehended following the unrest that came after opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko was arrested over rape allegation.

The three men were arrested on February 22 and 23, before the violence broke out. Police accuse them of planning protests in Dakar against court cases targeting Sonko.

They were charged with "organizing an insurrection movement, causing people to commit crimes and infractions and criminal association" on February 26 and March 1 and were jailed.

President Macky Sall responded to the unrest, in which several people died across Senegal, by lifting a coronavirus curfew and saying he had heard the message from the country's youth.

Although opponent Sonko has been charged, he too has since been released.

Meanwhile, religious leaders' interventions helped convince demonstrators to hold off for now.