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Protests against the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, Dakar, Senegal Protests against the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko in Dakar, Senegal, March 5, 2021 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

The ‘Senegalese Exception’ Loses Its Luster

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

It all started with an accusation of rape.

In early February, the Senegalese press reported that a young woman who works at a massage parlor in Dakar had filed a complaint against Ousmane Sonko, a prominent opposition leader and a member of parliament, accusing him of raping her and threatening her life. On hearing the news, Sonko, who came in third in the country’s last presidential election in 2019, cried conspiracy, accusing Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, of fabricating the claim in order to destroy his political career and send him to prison. ...

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