Amnesty urges independent probe into Senegal unrest
The conflict, which took place between June 1-3, was reportedly sparked by a two-year sentence on opposition figurehead Ousmane Sonko.
Amnesty International demanded, on Thursday, an impartial investigation into the violence that erupted throughout Senegal the previous week, which it said claimed 23 lives—more than the official death toll.
Amnesty made its statement a day after the administration said investigations into the violence, which it claimed had taken 16 lives, had begun.
The conflict, which took place between June 1-3 left, was reportedly sparked by a two-year sentence on opposition figurehead Ousmane Sonko.
Around 23 people died, according to Amnesty's figures, "including some by gunfire, have been registered between Dakar and Ziguinchor (in the north)," said Amnesty. Three of those killed were minors, the statement added.
Sonko has repeatedly asserted that his prosecution and eventual conviction was a ploy by the government to keep him from running for the presidency, something the government has rebuffed.
In 2021, Sonko was accused of raping Adji Sarr, a worker at a beauty parlor in Dakar, and threatening to kill her. She said Sonko had abused her on five occasions between late 2020 and early 2021. She was under 21 back then.
Sonko was sentenced to two years in prison for influencing young people, but the court cleared him of the rape accusations instead, banning him from running for President.
He has not yet been detained and is reportedly in his Dakar residence.
In the 2019 election against President Macky Sall, Sonko came in third place; nevertheless, throughout the trial, he claimed that the case against him was politically motivated to bar him from running in 2024.