A 19-year-old boy died on Saturday from injuries sustained during a demonstration in southern Senegal, bringing to three the number of deaths in the country since the start of the crisis linked to the postponement of the presidential election. according to hospital and political sources cited, Sunday February 11, by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
In Ziguinchor, a “19-year-old boy received a projectile on the head and died of his injuries in the intensive care unit last night”a hospital official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “There were several serious injuries during the protests and one died. He was shot in the head.”, said Abdou Sané, coordinator of the opposition Pastef party in Ziguinchor. The boy was a high school student who lived in the neighborhood commonly called “Grand Dakar” in Ziguinchor, he said.
Most towns in Senegal remained calm on Saturday but spontaneous demonstrations continued in this town of Casamance, stronghold of imprisoned opponent Ousmane Sonko. They brought together several dozen young people, sometimes minors, and security forces who tried to disperse them with tear gas.
A 22-year-old student in Saint-Louis, in the north of the country, and a 23-year-old trader in Dakar have also been killed since Friday during the protest movement against the postponement of the presidential election scheduled for February 25, announced by President Macky Sall. This postponement is seen by the opposition as a scheme to avoid the defeat of the presidential candidate, or even to keep the current president at the head of the country for several more years, which he denies.
Concern of international partners
In a message published on social networks, the United States Embassy in Senegal offered its condolences to the families and friends of the victims. “We urge all parties to act in a peaceful and measured manner, and we continue to call on President Sall to restore the electoral calendar, restore confidence and calm the situation”she said.
Senegal’s international partners have expressed their concern and called for elections to be held as quickly as possible. On Saturday, the mobilization extended to the diaspora, with demonstrations which attracted a few thousand people to Paris and Berlin.
President Macky Sall was taken by surprise by postponing the elections three weeks before the vote, a decision ratified by the National Assembly, which voted to postpone the electoral deadline until December 15, after having expelled by force the deputies of the opposition. The Assembly also voted to maintain Mr. Sall in power until his successor takes office, probably in early 2025. His second term officially expired on April 2.
New demonstration Tuesday
The repression of demonstrations in Senegal has sparked outrage among the opposition. “We call on the regional and international community to witness, in the face of the excesses of this dying power”said Khalifa Sall, one of the main presidential candidates.
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The coalition of anti-system candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who received the support of Ousmane Sonko, denounced “the brutality of the security forces, who carried out unprecedented violence”. She greeted ” the efforts “ of civil society and political actors to “block the constitutional coup” of President Sall and maintain the presidential election on February 25.
A new demonstration launched by a civil society collective, Aar Sunu Election (“let’s protect our election”), is planned for Tuesday. Faced with repression, “We need a strategy of citizen struggle. Civil disobedience is a weapon that we will use to bring this country to a standstill and restore constitutional legality”declared Malick Diop, coordinator of this collective.