Senegal protests: Ousmane Sonko calls for bigger protests after rape charge

Mr Sonko's supporters squared up to security forces outside the court on Monday

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has called for more protests against President Macky Sall after being released on a rape charge.

Mr Sonko’s arrest last week sparked days of deadly protests.

He is accused of assaulting a woman who worked in a beauty salon but he says the case is politically motivated to stop him running again in elections.

Mr Sall denies this and has appealed for calm, asking protesters to leave the issue to the courts.

At least eight people have been killed in the protests, the most serious Senegal has seen in several years.

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After Mr Sonko was released on Monday, he called for much larger protests but made a point that they should be peaceful and that he was not looking to overthrow the president.

“We are not asking the people to go and unseat Macky Sall… But let’s be clear, the revolution is marching its way to 2024,” Mr Sonko is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying, referring to the next presidential election.

Mr Sall also addressed the issue on Monday, for the first time, in a televised speech.

He said that young people were taking to the streets because they don’t have jobs. He promised extra funding for entrepreneurship and to shorten the nightly curfew, imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has stifled the informal economy, Reuters adds.

  Source: BBC News