Senegal: Authorities ban planned demonstration in Dakar

The Senegalese authorities have banned an anti-government demonstration planned for Wednesday in Dakar, risking further anger from the opposition in a climate of growing pre-election tensions.
On 17 June, a previous demonstration, also banned, had caused clashes. Three people died and more than 200 people were arrested, including two MPs, according to the opposition. One was sentenced on Monday to six months in prison, the other was released, like the 82 other defendants in Dakar.
To justify this new ban, an order from the Dakar prefect cited “real threats to public order”, “real risks of infiltration by ill-intentioned individuals”, “serious threats of attacks on public buildings” and “real risks of hindering the free movement of people and goods”.
He also spoke of a violation of the electoral code and its article L.61, which prohibits any “disguised” propaganda in the 30 days preceding the opening of the electoral campaign. The campaign is due to open on 10 July for the legislative elections on 31 July.
Tension is growing after the Constitutional Council invalidated a national list of candidates of the opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi. This invalidation eliminates from the race the leader of the opposition Ousmane Sonko and a number of opponents of President Macky Sall. The opposition denounces a ploy by the presidency to remove its opponents.
Mr. Sonko, third in the 2019 presidential elections and declared candidate for the 2024 elections, and other leaders have threatened to prevent the elections from being held if Yewwi Askan Wi does not participate.

About Geraldine Boechat 2715 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia