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Senegal opposition leader issues ‘ultimatum’ to president after deadly clashes

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Senegal’s top opposition leader has called President Macky Sall an “ultimatum,” urging him to release those arrested amid a day of clashes that reportedly killed three people.

Violence broke out between youths and police in the capital Dakar on Friday, as officers blocked access to opposition leader Ousmane Sonko’s home.

Three opposition members were also arrested and the city’s mayor was not allowed to leave his home, Sonko’s PASTEF party spokesman said.

Media and the opposition have now reported a third, additional death from the clashes — a taxi driver shot in Ziguinchor, Casamance.

In a Facebook post late Friday, Sonko said, “Mr. Macky Sall, we are giving you an ultimatum (to) release all political hostages into your hands; furthermore, we will come and get these political hostages at any cost.”

Sonko accused Sall of being “a murderous president”. Referring to the riots that rocked Senegal last year, he said: “After killing 14 people in the events of February-March 2021, he will add three more victims to his list here in June 2022”.

The clashes come as the country is gripped by pre-election tensions.

Sonko had called for protests against a decision to block a list of candidates for the July 31 parliamentary election in Senegal.

The move also prohibits him and other opposition figures from contesting the vote.


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