Ousmane Sonko, Senegal’s opposition leader that was arrested last week, has been released on bail. His arrests sparked protestors in Senegal, where thousands of people protested against his arrest.
His lawyer said he was arrested for allegedly raping a woman and his release was under strict government supervision. More than eight people died during the protests. Senegal is regarded as one of Africa’s most stable countries.
Ousmane Sonko says the allegations are false
Ousmane Sonko claims the allegations against him are false and that the government is only trying to keep him away from politics. His release was celebrated by the protestors that have been on the streets since the beginning of his arrest.
According to a reporter, the environment after his release was charged with energy. He added that the protestors believed that Sonko’s release showed that they had influence over the government’s actions.
Before his release, a crowd gathered outside the courthouse, waving flags and demanding his release. Sonko was the third favorite in the 2019 presidential elections. The government has denied trying to sabotage his attempts to run again in the future.
Sonko’s arrest led to violent protests
During the protests, many shops were looted and cars were vandalized by angry protestors. They also complained about the low living standard in the economy, lack of jobs, and corruption among government officials. The army was called to intervene. They patrolled Dakar with heavily armed tanks and guns. Most businesses and schools were closed.
The protests have sparked concerns in neighboring countries and the United Nations. Senegal’s president has been accused of sabotaging his political rivals and trying to extend his tenure past the allotted two-term limit.
The protestors also called for the resignation of Senegal’s current president, Macky Sall. They claim that he is responsible for the criminal charges against his rivals that prevented them from running in 2019.