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Witness: A Senegalese family loses a son in acts of violence


In a small fishing village outside the Senegalese capital, Ismael Dini and his wife, Tuesday, bid farewell to their son, who was killed last week during the protests that rocked the country.

The grieving couple do not want to blame anyone, and as with many of the 16 people killed in Senegal’s worst wave of political violence in years, the circumstances of the death of 33-year-old Doudou Digne are shrouded in mystery.

Dudu was married with a 14-month-old child, two brothers and a sister.

“Dodo did not take part in the protests, nor in politics,” said the deceased’s mother, who was wearing a white headscarf and loose-fitting robes.

Hundreds of relatives and neighbors gathered at a mosque where the coffin was placed. After that, the procession headed to the cemetery, on the outskirts of the city. The women will visit the tomb later.

The fishing village of Barjene, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the capital, Dakar, was one of the sites of angry protests after controversial opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for “corrupting the youth”.

This village paid a heavy price, as three people were killed in the protests, according to several municipal officials.

The government and the opposition exchange accusations of causing the violence and the fall of the victims.

The opposition points to heavy repression of protests, while the government denounces planned destabilization efforts by “dark forces”, foreigners and militants.

But the ruling may make Sonko ineligible to run for the presidency in 2024, and Sonko denies the charges against him, and considers it a plot to stop his rising political star.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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