Senegal is witnessing escalating tensions as security forces clash with protesters expressing vehement opposition to the postponement of the upcoming presidential election. The Justice Minister has vehemently denied allegations of an attempted power-grab, insisting that the decision to delay the election was not driven by ulterior motives.
Parliament’s recent vote to reschedule the election from February 25 to December has intensified concerns, with critics fearing an extension of President Macky Sall’s mandate could jeopardize one of the few remaining democracies in coup-prone West Africa.
In the capital city of Dakar, riot police deployed tear gas, stun grenades, and what appeared to be rubber bullets to disperse protesters. The demonstrators, some brandishing Senegalese flags, expressed their discontent with slogans like ‘Macky Sall is a dictator.’ A Reuters reporter on the scene described the clashes as the most serious bout of unrest triggered by the election delay.
Protests also unfolded in other parts of the country, with confrontations between demonstrators and police reported in the city of Touba. Residents in Mbacke city recounted incidents of burning tyres at a key intersection.
The intensification of unrest raises concerns about the potential for prolonged instability in Senegal following the election postponement. The situation remains volatile, with the government facing growing opposition from citizens determined to safeguard democratic principles.