Mon. Jun 10th, 2024

Senegal’s interior ministry says it is taking measures to “preserve peace and tranquillity” as opposition protests are still happening in some parts of the country.

Small protests are still happening in the capital, Dakar, and in Ziguinchor, a city where the opposition leader Ousmane Sonko is the mayor.

The latest protests were triggered by the arrest of Mr Sonko over the weekend and the dissolution of his party. He remains in custody and on Sunday began a hunger strike.

On Monday, Interior Minister Antoine Félix Abdoulaye Diome announced that the government had dissolved Mr Sonko’s Patriots of Senegal (Pastef) party for inciting unrest during violent protests last month in Dakar.

But Pastef says the Senegal’s stability “is now compromised, because the people will never accept this ultimate forfeiture of power against ‘the favourite'”.

Videos on social networks showed demonstrators throwing stones at the security forces following the arrest and party dissolution.

Mr Sonko has denounced his imprisonment, saying it is “on false grounds”. He is also waiting for the official notification about his party’s disbandment so he can fight it by “legal means”.

It is the third time a political party had been banned in the West African nation since it gained its independence from France in 1960 – the others happened before multi-party democracy was introduced in the 1970s.

Pastef’s supporters have accused President Macky Sall’s ruling party of trying to side-line his popular opponent, who came third in the 2019 presidential election, with trumped-up charges ahead of February’s vote.

By Joy

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