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DAKAR, Senegal — Authorities forcibly eliminated Senegalese opposition chief Ousmane Sonko from his car Thursday and escorted him to a court docket look, blocking his supporters from following him and sparking unrest in a number of components of the capital.
Police fired tear fuel in a number of components of Dakar to disperse protesters on the third day of demonstrations in assist of Sonko, who completed third within the final presidential election and is seen as a number one contender in subsequent 12 months’s vote.
Some protesters set fireplace to buses belonging to Senegal’s nationwide public transport firm and focused French retailers. Unrest additionally was reported within the metropolis of Thies, 68 kilometers (42 miles) east of the capital, in addition to within the southern cities of Ziguinchor and Bignona and in Saint-Louis within the nation’s north.
On Thursday, a convoy of opposition supporters spent greater than a hour making its method between Sonko’s residence and the courthouse, the place he was to seem in reference to a civil lawsuit towards him by Senegal’s tourism minister for alleged defamation.
As soon as in court docket, Sonko requested to see a physician saying he had been mishandled by police once they pressured him out of his automotive. Choose Pape Mouhamed Diop postponed the listening to till March 30.
In a separate matter, Sonko can also be dealing with rape costs after a feminine therapeutic massage salon worker got here ahead and accused him of assault. If convicted, he faces as much as 10 years in jail and can be barred from operating for president. No date is about for the this trial.
Sonko maintains his authorized troubles are a part of an effort by President Macky Sall’s authorities to derail his candidacy within the 2024 election. The opposition determine has urged Sall to say publicly that he won’t search a 3rd time period in workplace.
Thursday marks the second time in a month that Senegalese authorities have forcibly eliminated Sonko from his car, saying his actions prompted disruption. In mid-February, police smashed the window of his automotive so they might open the door and drive him out.
In 2021, days of lethal protests erupted after Sonko was arrested for disturbing public order whereas on his solution to the courthouse for a scheduled look within the rape case. At the very least 13 folks died in the course of the worst violence to rock Senegal in years.