A 16-year-old high school student was killed during clashes with security forces in southern Senegal, shaken for eight days by the surprise postponement of the presidential election, bringing to three the number of deaths since the start of the protest .
Landing Camara (known as Diedhiou) died on Saturday February 10 evening from his injuries at the regional hospital in Ziguinchor, stronghold of imprisoned opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, where clashes between groups of young people and security forces took place. are pursued.
In a message posted on social media, 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.
President Macky Sall took everyone 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 opposition MPs.
The Assembly also voted to maintain the power of Macky Sall until his successor takes office, probably in early 2025. His second term officially expired on April 2.
On Friday, the entire country was shaken by a large-scale protest, which was repressed by the security forces. They dispersed the slightest gathering by firing tear gas.
The majority of cities have regained calm, including Dakar, the capital. But in Ziguinchor, capital of Casamance, the clashes continued, pitting dozens of young people, sometimes very young, against the security forces, who formed roadblocks and threw stones.
“A 19-year-old boy received a projectile on the head and died of his injuries in intensive care last night” said a hospital official 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 party Pastef in Ziguinchor.
The boy was a high school student who lived in the neighborhood commonly known as “Great Dakar” in Ziguinchor, he said.
An investigation was also opened after the death on Friday February 9 of a 22-year-old geography student in Saint-Louis (north) in circumstances that are still unclear. A street vendor also succumbed to his injuries on Saturday in Dakar, victim according to his relatives of a police shooting the day before.
The postponement of the presidential election has sparked widely shared indignation on social networks, with the opposition shouting “constitutional coup“.
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.
The repression of demonstrations in Senegal has sparked outrage among the opposition. “We call 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.
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 for”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 scheduled for Tuesday February 13.
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.