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Senegal: government justifies lifting security measures around Sonko's home

Abdou Karim Fofana, Senegal's government spokesman speaking in Dakar on July 25, 2023.   -  
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Senegal's government on Tuesday justified the lifting of security around the Dakar home of opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, saying "the risk does not exist".

Government spokesperson Abdou Karim Fofana said that the measures had been lifted because, "Today, there are no more calls for insurrection, there's no risk of disturbing public order, so there's no reason to restrict traffic in the Cite Keur Gorgui neighbourhood."

The opposition figure had been blocked by security forces in his home since May 28 for "public order and national security" reasons, with Sonko saying he was being "illegally held" there. The police barriers in front of his home were removed Monday.

Sonko, a candidate for the 2024 presidential elections, was sentence on June 1 on charges of "corrupting youth", prompting the most widespread unrest seen in Senegal in years. He was also earlier sentenced on May 8 for defamation. 

The prison sentence makes Sonko ineligible to stand in next year's elections, according to his lawyers and legal experts. 

Sonko's supporters have denounced the charges as a ploy to prevent him from running.

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