Social media and messaging platforms have been blocked in Senegal after unrest erupted over the sentencing of opposition chief Ousmane Sonko.
At the least 9 folks have been killed when Sonko’s supporters clashed with police in a number of cities on Thursday.
Sonko was not in court docket when he was given a two-year jail term for immoral behaviour, however cleared of rape prices.
The justice minister mentioned he may very well be arrested at any time – and police are surrounding his home within the capital.
His supporters concern the conviction may stop the 48-year-old politician from contesting subsequent yr’s presidential election.
A whole lot of officers are blocking his supporters from reaching his residence in Dakar – and even his attorneys have been unable to go to him.
When the court docket handed down its verdict on Thursday, Sonko’s Pastef occasion known as on folks to “take to the streets”.
Inside Minister Antoine Félix Diome mentioned the federal government had imposed restrictions on social media to cease the “dissemination of hate and subversive messages”.
Persons are upset in regards to the transfer, which is affecting common apps like Fb, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram, TikTok, WhatsApp and YouTube.
They are often accessed utilizing a digital non-public community (VPN), however not everyone seems to be privy to such software program and the way it works.
A number of districts of the capital noticed clashes – among the worst confrontations have been on the college campus within the metropolis centre the place police fired tear fuel as automobiles burned and black smoke billowed over the world.
Many companies closed – and a few remained shut on Friday.
There was additionally violence within the southern metropolis of Ziguinchor, the place Sonko is mayor.
Sonko could be very common amongst unemployed youth and has undergone a meteoric political rise in the previous few years.
After his dismissal as a tax inspector in 2016, he was elected to parliament and have become mayor of Ziguinchor.
The federal government has rejected accusations that this case towards the opposition chief, in addition to others he has confronted, have been politically motivated.
He was accused of sexually assaulting and threatening a therapeutic massage therapist at a magnificence salon in 2021, which he denied.
Including to the political stress is the assumption that President Macky Sall plans to remain in workplace for an unconstitutional third time period, although he has made no point out of such intentions.