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Friday, July 1, 2022

Senegalese gov’t: Rebels were arrested at opposition protest, Sonko: lies

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Oumar Guèye, the Senegalese Minister of Territorial Communities and government spokesman, has claimed that rebels were arrested on Wednesday in Dakar, before the demonstration organized by Yewwi Askan Wi.

Le Quotidien journalist asked the minister whether there were any rebels arrested following widespread rumours.

The minister replied: “The answer is yes. It’s the truth. We have to be very careful. Those who seek to destabilize our country are disillusioned. President Macky Sall and his government will take all measures to secure people and property.”

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According to the government, the arrests took place during a demonstration in the capital Dakar on Wednesday that was staged by the opposition coalition.

Gueye gave no details about those arrested, but social media reports identified them as members of the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) who had come to attend the protests.

Several opposition leaders have been banned from contesting the July 31 legislative elections, prompting protesters to threaten to prevent the polls from taking place if Yewwi Askan Wi is barred.

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Ousmane Sonko, mayor of Casamance’s main town Ziguinchor and a leading figure in Yewwi Askan Wi, accused the government of spreading “unfounded information”.

“These are lies,” he wrote in Wolof on his Facebook page, saying the government aimed “to demobilise the militants”.

“They are now talking about the MFDC after other lies,” he added.

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