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Senegalese opposition postpones April 3rd protests

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko near the Justice Palace of Dakar, Senegal, Mar. 8, 2021.   -  
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Sylvain Cherkaoui/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Senegalese opposition announced Friday (Mar.31) they'd postponed risky demonstrations scheduled Monday (Apr. 3rd). Throughout the trial of politician Ousmane Sonko, tensions were high in the country.

Citing broad consultations and contacts "with senior members of the Defense and Security Forces", the opposition announced the news in a statement.

Almost simultaneously, the prefect of Dakar has banned the demonstration of Monday in the capital for "risks of disturbance to public order", according to a statement sent to the AFP.

Protests in support of the opposition leader have been marred by clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators.

The Yewwi Askni Wi coalition had planned marches in Dakar among other cities, ahead and following the trial of Ousmane Sonko.

The Pastef party leader appeared in court on Thursday for defamation against the Minister of Tourism Mame Mbaye Niang.

A Dakar court handed Sonko a two-month suspended sentence.

The prosecution and the plaintiff have appealed the judgment.

Sonko and his supporters maintain his legal troubles are part of an effort by President Macky Sall’s government to derail his candidacy in the 2024 presidential race. The ruling party accuses the Pastef leader of wanting to paralyze the country and of using popular protest to escape justice.

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