At least one person has died in Bignona town of Casamance Region in Southwestern Senegal and several wounded in clashes between security agents and supporters of opposition figure Ousmane Sonko.
Violence erupted in Dakar the capital, after Sonko was arrested on Wednesday based on rape allegations. He denies the charges and says it was an attempt by President Macky Sall to undermine him.
The 46-year old tax inspector is the leader of the Pastef party and enjoys popular support among Senegalese youth. He faces questioning after he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity last week. He is also accused of participating in illegal demonstrations.
News Central gathered that the clashes between the protesters and the police have spread from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar and its environs to Pikine, Guédiawaye, Casamance in the south of the country, and the opposition stronghold of Bignona.
Social media and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Youtube were restricted early on Friday, ahead of the demonstration by civil society and opposition parties led by the “Y En A Marre” (Enough is Enough) group.
Two private television channels SenTV and Walfadjiri were shut out after regulatory authorities accused some media houses of promoting anarchy after Sonko’s arrest.
There are concerns that President Sall may seek to change the constitution to allow him run for a third term.
Sonko appeared in court on Friday to defend himself against rape charges. His appearance sparked renewed clashes and opposition alliance known as the Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) has promised to press on with renewed protests on Monday.