Sonko court docket look sparks unrest in Senegal’s capital Lalrp



DAKAR, Senegal — Authorities forcibly eliminated Senegalese opposition chief Ousmane Sonko from his automobile Thursday and escorted him to a court docket look, blocking his supporters from following him and sparking unrest in a number of elements of the capital.

Police fired tear fuel in a number of elements 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 yr’s vote.

Some protesters set hearth to buses belonging to Senegal’s nationwide public transport firm and focused French outlets. 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 manner between Sonko’s house and the courthouse, the place he was to seem in reference to a civil lawsuit in opposition to him by Senegal’s tourism minister for alleged defamation.

As soon as in court docket, Sonko requested to see a health care provider saying he had been mishandled by police after they pressured him out of his automobile. Decide Pape Mouhamed Diop postponed the listening to till March 30.

In a separate matter, Sonko can also be going through rape prices 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 working for president. No date is ready 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 is not going to search a 3rd time period in workplace.

Thursday marks the second time in a month that Senegalese authorities have forcibly eliminated Sonko from his automobile, saying his actions prompted disruption. In mid-February, police smashed the window of his automobile so they might open the door and power him out.

In 2021, days of lethal protests erupted after Sonko was arrested for disturbing public order whereas on his strategy to the courthouse for a scheduled look within the rape case. A minimum of 13 folks died in the course of the worst violence to rock Senegal in years.