Senegal protests: ECOWAS calls for calm, restraint as opposition parties call for more protests

EYEAFRICA TV: Abuja, NIGERIA:- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called on all parties in Senegal to exercise restraint and remain calm as the opposition parties in the West African country call for 3-day protests.

“The ECOWAS Commission is closely following the situation unfolding in Senegal and condemns the violence that occurred in several towns in the country which led to deaths, injuries and destruction of property,” the West African bloc said in a statement.

ECOWAS further called on “the authorities to take the necessary measures to ease tensions and guarantee the freedom to demonstrate peacefully, in conformity with the laws in force.”

Protest erupted across Senegal on Wednesday following the arrest of an opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Senegal’s government condemned the protests as a “flagrant violation” of the state of emergency put in place to tackle coronavirus.

Sonko who faces a rape allegation, appeared in court on Friday accused of disrupting public order. He denies the allegations and his supporters say the accusations are politically motivated.

Many are especially dubious about the accusation against Sonko because two other top rivals of Sall were previously targeted by criminal charges that prevented them from running for president in 2019.

In a statement, the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) coalition called for three days of nationwide protests beginning on Monday.

“M2D … calls on the Senegalese people to pursue its mobilisation and peaceful struggle by using all of its constitutional rights to reject the dictatorship of Macky Sall,” it said.

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