Senegalese Gendarmerie block a road after protests burned tires and blocked roads in Dakar, on June 3, 2023. This comes two days after a court in Senegal sentenced opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, a candidate in the 2024 presidential election, to two years in prison on charges of "corrupting youth" but acquitted him of rape and issuing death threats. (PHOTO / AFP)
ADDIS ABABA – Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called for cessation of violence in Senegal.
"The chairperson of the AU Commission is closely following the events in Senegal which have caused deaths. The chairperson strongly condemns such violence and calls for their immediate cessation," the statement released late Friday said.
Faki called on all Senegalese political actors to show restraint from acts that tarnish the image of Senegalese democracy
Faki called on all Senegalese political actors to show restraint from acts that tarnish the image of Senegalese democracy.
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The chairperson of the AU Commission also called for Senegalese authorities to respect the rights of citizens to exercise their rights of freedom of expression while also calling on Senegalese citizens to follow the country's rule of law.
Faki further extended an invite to all Senegalese stakeholders to sit down for dialogue to overcome their differences.
Nine people have been killed during protests in Senegal, especially in the capital of Dakar and the southern city of Ziguinchor, which broke out following the sentencing of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, Senegalese authorities said earlier this week.
Addressing the press on Thursday evening, Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome said the government "has decided to temporarily suspend the use of certain digital applications through which calls for violence and hatred are made."
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The Criminal Chamber of the Dakar High Court on Thursday morning sentenced Sonko to two years in prison for "corrupting youth."