Senegal’s Ministry of International Affairs introduced Tuesday the non permanent closure of its abroad consulates — together with these in Paris and New York — as unprecedented political violence wrought havoc on the West African nation and its diplomatic missions overseas.
The ministry known as the transfer a “precautionary measure,” in a statement, noting a “series of recent attacks” on its “diplomatic and consular missions.”
“These acts have caused significant damage, particularly at the Consulate General of Senegal in Milan, where the passport and national identity card production machines have been destroyed,” the ministry continued, stating operations will resume as soon as “necessary material and security conditions are met.”
9 DEAD IN SENEGAL RIOTS OVER OPPOSITION LEADER’S CONVICTION, SENTENCING
Days-long riots have plagued the streets of Dakar and different metropolitan hubs throughout the nation, throughout which a minimum of 16 folks have been killed, about 500 have been arrested and a whole lot extra have been injured in clashes between demonstrators and police.
Senegalese authorities have tried to quell the violence by limiting entry to social media apps, together with Fb, WhatsApp and Twitter, which protestors and rioters are believed to be utilizing as main technique of communication. Roadblocks have additionally been put in on a number of of the nation’s main transport routes.
The riots have predominantly been perpetrated by younger supporters of opposition chief Ousmane Sonko, who was convicted in absentia Thursday of “corrupting the youth,” which resulted in a two-year jail sentence.
Sonko was concurrently acquitted of an accompanying rape cost.
SENEGALESE OPPOSITION LEADER OUSMANE SONKO CONVICTED OF CORRUPTING YOUTH, ACQUITTED OF RAPE CHARGES
Sonko, a potential presidential candidate who heads the left-wing PASTEF occasion and enjoys overwhelming youth assist, is taken into account essentially the most vital risk to incumbent Macky Sall’s re-election prospects subsequent 12 months. Sonko’s prison conviction legally bars him from difficult Sall.
Senegal is mostly thought of one among Africa’s most politically steady nations, although rising discontentment — notably amongst youth who’ve gravitated towards Sonko — with unemployment, corruption, and perceived authorities crackdowns on political opponents, has fostered widespread civil unrest lately.
Sall’s authorities has overseen the prosecutions of different potential political challengers, together with Khalifa Sall (no relation to the president) and Karim Wade, each of whom have been convicted of fraudulent use of funds within the leadup to 2019’s election.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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