Senegal Braces for More Unrest After Opposition Leader’s Arrest

Senegal Braces for More Unrest After Opposition Leader’s Arrest
A demonstrator holds a Senegalese flag during protests against the arrest of opposition leader and former presidential candidate Ousmane Sonko, in Dakar, Senegal, March 8, 2021 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Africa Watch by email every week.

After days of violent protests that have left at least five people dead, the political situation in Senegal, long one of West Africa’s most stable democracies, remains precarious.

The unrest was triggered by the arrest last week of prominent opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, following a rape allegation against him. But the demonstrators were also driven by mounting frustration over corruption scandals involving President Macky Sall’s administration, and with the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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