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The Senegalese opposition leader has been released amid renewed clashes

Dakar, Senegal (AP) – Ri invats carriers Police on Monday hours after tear gas and rubber bullets fired after the crowd of Senegal’s capital, where authorities arrested freed as a result of violent protests in opposition Usmane Sonkoyin, most democratic countries in West Africa.

Following his release, the 46-year-old politician blamed his arrest on President Maki Sol, accusing the incumbent of his future political prospects until 2024. To distort the elections. While Sonko publicly accused the president of plunging Senegal into an unprecedented crisis, the opposition leader said it was not his intention to oust Sali from power.

“We do not want to take responsibility for undermining our democracy,” he tweeted late Monday. “But let us understand that the revolution is heading towards 2024.”

At least eight people have been killed since riots broke out last week, according to Amnesty International, marking the worst riots in Senegal in a decade.

In the next election, Sonko is widely seen as the president’s biggest political challenge, and protests that began on Wednesday accelerated with longer protests with the Sally administration.

The two men addressed the people with replies to each other on Monday evening. First Sonko, then the president.

Sal told Senegalese families that he knew they were suffering as a result of the COVID-19 economic downturn, and that subsequent poverty only exacerbated his government’s resentment. He agreed to reduce the night curfew, which many traders blame for deepening their troubles.

“I understand your concerns, your anger over your difficult life, mainly because of the unemployment highlighted by COVID-19,” Sal said. “But when you steal a business, you do not create jobs, you destroy them.”

Some Sonko supporters, however, said they would continue their civil disobedience even after a judge on Monday released their leader on parole. Crowds of supporters descended in the center of the courthouse, waving Senegalese flags and then making their way to his residence.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a rally in Auchan, a French retailer. Common gas stations have also been targeted by protesters in Dakar.

The sight of burnt-out cars sitting in shops is rare in Senegal, which has never had military coups or dictatorships that have destabilized many of its neighbors in West Africa over the past half-century.

The rallies first began on Wednesday, before Sonko’s first lawsuit to rape allegations. He was detained on the way to the courthouse and arrested for disorderly conduct when hundreds of his supporters clashed with police blocking unsanctioned protests. He is now charged with rape and death threats.

Sonko, a populist who fought corruption and poverty, took third place in the 2019 presidential election with more than 15% of the ballots, earning strong support from young voters. His message of greater economic independence for Senegal has reached a wider audience due to the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 epidemic amid curfews and other restrictions on movement.

Sonko on Monday called on the president to publicly resign from his third term. With his easy re-election in 2019 by more than 58% of the vote, his opponents fear he will try to extend his term for a third term, as did the presidents of neighboring Guinea-Ivory Coast last year. Sal, however, has not yet publicly commented on his intentions.

Although Sali has been blamed for infrastructure և development plans, his critics say the progress has been on the side of political rivals. Two other former stars have previously been accused by supporters of being politically motivated.

President Sally’s son, Karim Wade, who lost in 2012, was once widely regarded as an apparent heir until he was accused of corruption the following year. He eventually spent three years in prison before being deported abroad to Qatar. Former Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sal, once considered the main contender for the 2019 elections, was arrested in 2017 on corruption charges and later pardoned after voting ended.

Leaders of Senegal’s influential Muslim Brotherhood have urged protesters to exercise restraint in the coming days.

“Every Senegalese has the right to express his views on the situation in the country, but with respect for the institutions, without the destruction of state or private property,” said Serig Mansour Sai. “We call for peace and tranquility.”

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