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18 Dec 2018 | 04:40 AM UTC

Senegal: Opposition protests in Dakar December 21 /update 1

Opposition supporters are expected to stage a protest in Dakar on December 21; avoid all gatherings

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Event

Opposition supporters are expected to stage a protest in the capital Dakar on Friday, December 21, in front of the Supreme Court building. The Democratic and Social Front of National Resistance (FNR) political group called for the protest to demand that upcoming presidential elections be free and fair and to show their support to jailed opposition leader and former mayor of the capital, Khalifa Sall. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are likely in the vicinity of the demonstration. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

Sall, the leader of the opposition coalition Manko Taxawu Senegal (MTS) and mayor of Dakar, has been in prison since March 2017 on embezzlement charges. He was nevertheless elected to parliament in July 2017, without being able to take his seat. In November 2017, the National Assembly lifted Sall's parliamentary immunity, allowing his trial to proceed and prompting his supporters to stage a series of protests throughout Dakar. On August 30, 2018, the Court condemned him to five years in prison and on August 31, he was dismissed from the mayor's position. Sall is willing to run as candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, however, his judiciary issues may prevent him for taking part to the presidential race.

The presidential elections will take place on February 24, 2019.

Advice

Individuals in Dakar are advised to remain vigilant and avoid any form of demonstration due to the risk of violence.

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