The former French colony–Senegal has received backlashes since the arrest of the country’s top opposition leader–Ousmane Sonko. The arrest which took place on Wednesday in the streets of Dakar came ahead of Sonko’s appearance before a court for rape allegations.
Before the arrest, hundreds of Sonko’s supporters gathered near his home to follow him to the courthouse. Over an hour later, Sonko shared on his Facebook that his “car has been blocked for an hour by the Senegalese gendarmerie”.
Disclosed by one of Sonko’s lawyers to AFP News Agency, –the 46-year-old politician was “notified of his arrest on charges of disturbing public order and participating in an unauthorised demonstration.”
Mix reactions and comments have been seen since the top politician was arrested, some comments by civilians in Senegal and outside have questioned the democracy of the country. The arrest also led to unrest in Dakar and other parts of Senegal as protesters took to the streets to express their anger and disappointments.
The leader of the Pastef party who challenged president Macky Sall in the 2019 elections has been accused of rape by a woman who worked in a salon. However, Sonko denied accusations believing it is a “political move” accusation.
Elections in Senegal are due in 2024 in which the current Senegalese president– is not legally fit to contest unless the country’s constitution is changed. We have seen this in other former French colonies– like Guinea Conakry, and Ivory Coast whose presidents changed the constitution to win third terms.