Over 1,000 activists protested in the capital Dakar Saturday over what they call injustice and the crackdown on opposition politicians by Senegal’s President Macky Sall and his administration.
Organized by the local movement “Yanamar” — meaning “enough is enough” — the group marched peacefully wearing black and carrying signs to Obelique de Nation Square, where speeches were delivered.
“We’re here to remind President Macky Sall that he was with us during President [Abdoulaye] Wade’s regime when opposition members were persecuted. We voted for him because we thought that was the right thing to do. But we are sensing the same situation today,” MC Makdad, a local rapper and key member of the campaign, told Anadolu Agency.
Kadija Sarr, a supporter of Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall — no relation to the president, and facing corruption charges — said opposition members are being prosecuted to scare them away from contesting both July’s legislative elections and the 2019 presidential elections.
President Sall should know that we voted him in and must listen to us and allow true democracy and stop the dictatorship, Kadija told Anadolu Agency.
This present administration has prosecuted key opposition party members for alleged crimes that are committed by ruling party members who roam free, she added.
Since late last year, key opposition figures in addition to Dakar’s mayor — including opposition leader Karim Wade and local officials Bathalomy Dias and Bamba Faal — have faced charges of corruption and embezzlement, among others.
Although the ruling party says the prosecutions are being led by the judiciary, opposition parties and rights groups, including Amnesty International, claim the actions are being fueled by government efforts to silence the opposition.