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Senegal: two killed in protests following Sonko's detention

University students carry bags as they leave their campus during a demonstration in Dakar on June 1, 2023.   -  
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JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors


The detention of Senegalese opposition figure Ousmane Sonko on Monday sparked new protests, killing two in the southern city of Ziguinchor.

The seven new charges against Sonko were announced by Senegal's public prosecutor on Saturday and include a charge for inciting insurrection. 

According to the prosecutor, these charges are separate from the moral corruption case for which Sonko was sentenced to two years on June 1. 

The sentencing in June resulted in the country's worst unrest in years. At least 16 people were killed during protests, according to authorities. Amnesty International, however, put the number higher at 24, while Sonko's Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) party put it at 30.

Following the deaths of the two men in Ziguinchor, where Sonko is mayor, the InteriorMinistry in a press release called on "the population to remain calm and serene" and said that "all measures are being taken to preserve peace and tranquillity in the country."

Interior Minister Antoine Diome also announced the dissolution of PASTEF, accusing the opposition party of " “frequently calling on its supporters to insurrectional movements" which resulted in loss of life. 

The government has also restricted internet access in a bid to curb protests.

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