Clashes erupted in Dakar on Thursday, between Students at the Cheick Anta Diop University and law enforcement officials following the arrest a day earlier of Senegal’s main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who is due to be heard on Friday by a judge on rape allegation.
The students, according to reports, were seen setting barricades and throwing projectiles at riot police, who responded by shooting tear gas and other types of non-lethal ammunition.
It is the second consecutive day of demonstrations in various Senegalese cities in support of Sonko and in protest of President Macky Sall’s government.
Local media outlets reported that at least one death in Thursday’s skirmishes in Bignona town in the Casamance region.
Sonko came third in the 2019 presidential elections and is a strong contender for the scheduled 2024 vote. The politician who has been active since 2021 was summoned by a judge on Wednesday to face rape allegations after his parliamentary immunity was lifted last week.
Sonko’s supporters have publicly expressed their belief that the charges brought against him are politically motivated.