After two nights of violent protests against the curfew in order to stem the coronavirus, the president Macky Sall was once again “called upon the people to ensure the scrupulous observance of the rules established in the framework of the state of emergency and the fight against the pandemic of the COVID-19”.
June 3, 2020 21h14
COVID-19: second night of riots in Senegal to demand an end to the curfew
DAKAR — violent protests against the curfew in place to curb the coronavirus broke out Wednesday in several cities of Senegal, for the second night in a row, up to this time the capital city of Dakar, while a relaxation of the state of emergency emerges despite the progression of the disease.
Burning tires, throwing rocks on the police forces, tear gas grenades… the same scenes were to be repeated, and popular neighborhoods of the capital in the interior of the country, as in Kaolack, according to images broadcast by the channel SenTV and on the social networks.
Witnesses also reported demonstrations in Nioro, near the gambian border.
“There are events in several corners of Dakar”, said to theAFP a source of security, citing in particular the districts of Niarry Tally, Medina and low-cost HOUSING.
Earlier in the day, the president Macky Sall was once again “called upon the people to ensure the scrupulous observance of the rules established in the framework of the state of emergency and the fight against the pandemic of the COVID-19”, according to a press release issued after the council of ministers.
On this occasion, the head of State has also confirmed its strategy of gradual easing of restrictive measures” related to the state of emergency, in particular in the transport sector.
Clarification could be made at a press conference Thursday in this country, which has recorded nearly 4,000 infections and 45 deaths due to the COVID-19.
The demonstrations had started on Tuesday night, without first touching the capital, a city of more than 3 million inhabitants which is the epicentre of the disease in the country.
In the city of Touba, 200 km east of Dakar, the balance sheet of the events of the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, is “three police vehicles and an ambulance burned, the center of treatment of the sick of the COVID-19 attacked,” according to an official of the senegalese population.
Dozens of arrests
After this first night of riots, “the number of detained has reached 74,” said an official.
To Mbacké, protesters were taken Tuesday at the local headquarters of radio RFM, owned by the press group, private, singer, and former minister Youssou Ndour.
The radio has suffered “significant damage,” according to an association of local journalists.
“Those responsible for this destruction should be hunted down and brought to justice,” said the Council of broadcasters and publishers of the press in Senegal (Cdeps, employers).
In a gesture rare, the general khalife of mourides, Serigne Mountakha Mbacké, intervened on the tv in the middle of the night from Tuesday to Wednesday to stop protests in Touba, the second agglomeration of the country, with over one million inhabitants.
“Go home”, has launched the most senior member of the brotherhood, with several million members.
Introduced on the 23rd of march to combat the COVID-19, the state of emergency is up here with a curfew from 21H00 to 05H00, and a prohibition of movement between regions.
It has been extended until the end of June, even if the head of State had announced on may 11, a relaxation of the measures, such as the reopening of markets, shops and places of worship.
Many voices were raised calling for a strike more full of restrictions, in a country where approximately 40% of the population is under the poverty line and many live day-to-day informal activities.
But the pandemic continues to progress. The back-to-school, planned for Tuesday, was postponed at the last minute at a “later date”, after the discovery of the contamination of 10 teachers in the Casamance, in the south of the country.