Senegal opposition prepares for renewed protest

Senegal’s opposition, whose attempts to stage protests over President Abdoulaye Wade’s third term bid have been thwarted by police, called for fresh rallies as youths prepared on Thursday to stage a sit-in.

The rapper-led youth movement “Fed Up” said it planned to occupy Obelisk Square in a suburb of the capital from Thursday afternoon, despite not having permission from the authorities.

Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom branded the planned sit-in “criminal vagrancy” and said it was “clearly seditious”.

The sit-in was supposed to start on Tuesday but riot police prevented youths from accessing the square, which has been the scene of protests in recent weeks against 85-year-old Wade’s plans to run in the February 26 poll.

“With or without permission ‘Fed Up’ will be at Obelisk Square today,” Aliou Sane, one of the movement’s leaders, said at a press conference.

Meanwhile the June 23 Movement (M23) of opposition and civil society opposed to Wade’s candidacy again called on its supporters to protest on Friday and Saturday at Independence Square in the heart of the city.

Stiff opposition
The government fiercely opposes any gathering at the square, which lies a few hundred metres from the presidential palace and where police on Wednesday dispersed hundreds of people with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

“We have decided to return tomorrow to Independence Square at 3pm after [Friday] prayers,” M23 coordinator Alioune Tine told journalists.

“On Saturday we will return to the same Independence Square from 11am. It will be a day of action across the whole country.”

Tine denounced the response by riot police to the protests as “completely irrational and dictated by fear”. He said government mediators had approached M23 to persuade the movement to hold talks with the government but that nothing concrete had emerged.


Turnout at opposition demonstrations appears to have waned, with just 10 days to go before the election in which 13 opposition candidates will take on Wade.

With no clear frontrunner, the opposition vote is likely to be split. — AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday