African Union and UN call for calm in Senegal

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In Senegal, opponents took to the streets after popular opposition leader Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for indecent behavior. 9 people were killed and the United Nations and African Union called for calm on Friday.

African Union and UN call for calm in Senegal

The United Nations and the African Union called for calm in Senegal on Friday after Dakar called on the army to quell violence after sanctions broke out between opponents and police.

9 people were killed Thursday in riots that broke out after popular opposition leader Ousmane Sonko received a 2-year prison sentence that could rule him out of the race in the 2024 presidential election.

CALL FROM UN AND AFRICAN UNION

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and "urged all those involved (...) to exercise restraint," a spokesperson said.

The African Union said commission president Moussa Faki Mahamat strongly condemned the violence and urged leaders to refrain from actions that "tarnish the face of Senegal's democracy, of which Africa has always been proud".

The Community of West African States (ECOWAS) urged all parties to "defend the country's laudable reputation as a bastion of peace and stability".

WHAT HAPPENED?

Sonko was allegedly tried for the rape of a woman but received no punishment. However, he was sentenced to two years in prison for "corruption" a woman, Africa News reported.

Opposition supporters took to the streets after the verdict, clashing with police in the capital of Africa's democratic Senegal, and tensions escalated further on Friday when soldiers took to the streets.

Sonko, who is on trial in Asbentia, has not yet been taken into custody because of a prison sentence, which could further escalate tensions.

AFP reporters observed that the streets of the capital were largely empty.

SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS RESTRICTED

The government had imposed restrictions on various social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp, aiming to "spread hateful and destructive messages."

Source: Africa News

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