Senegal: gradual decrease in tensions, internet suspended on certain time slots

In Senegal this Sunday evening, June 4, internet is suspended on phones on certain time slots, announces the Ministry of Communication. Social media was already cut off. The government justifies this decision by the dissemination of hate messages in this very tense context since Thursday and the sentencing of the opponent Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison. Sixteen people died, according to the Interior Ministry. In Dakar, an uneasy calm seems to have returned and we now know more about the results of the clashes of recent days.

On a street in Dakar, Senegal, Saturday, June 3, 2023. AP - Leo Correa

Text by: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Juliette Dubois

Sixteen deaths in three days according to the government, with a new death recorded Saturday. Pastef, Ousmane Sonko's party, speaks of 19 deaths.

Many wounded also in these violent clashes, nearly 400 according to the Senegalese Red Cross, including a pregnant woman and 36 elements of the defense and security forces. Wounded who were evacuated to hospitals.

Many buildings and businesses were destroyed in Dakar, but also in Ziguinchor, a city in the south of the country of which Ousmane Sonko is mayor. The Alliance française was set on fire and vandalized, the regional cultural centre vandalized, as was the Djiganbo high school and other schools.

>> READ ALSO: "I loved him so much": in Senegal, with a bereaved family after the demonstrations

The silence of President Macky Sall...

Today, as in the past, tensions seem to have come down a notch. In Dakar, the inhabitants were able to circulate relatively quietly, but the Pastef calls to continue the mobilization until the resignation of President Macky Sall.

And in this context, the Ministry of Communication announced this afternoon to suspend mobile data throughout the country on certain time slots, without specifying which ones. It implicates "the dissemination of subversive and hateful messages in a context of disturbances to public order". Until now, only social networks and messaging apps like WhatsApp were blocked.

And more and more voices are rising to criticize the silence of President Macky Sall. The mayor of Thiès, Babacar Diop, asked him to speak out to call for calm and responsibility, and to suspend the national dialogue that began Wednesday.

>> Read also: Saliou Sarr: "To get Senegal out of this violence, we must go to dialogue"

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  • Senegal
  • Macky Sall