Another Protest Death Deepens Senegal’s Political Crisis

SENEGAL’s political crisis deepened as a second person died on Saturday in increasingly violent protests against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone upcoming presidential elections.

A 23-year-old man died on Saturday after being shot during clashes in the capital Dakar, two of his relatives told AFP, while a 22-year-old student died Friday in the northern town of Saint-Louis in still uncertain circumstances.

“The international and regional community must bear witness to the excesses of this dying regime,” said presidential candidate Khalifa Sall (no relation).

Modou Gueye, a market vendor, took “a live round to the stomach” on Friday in the Colobane neighbourhood of the capital Dakar, said his brother Dame Gueye, 29, who was with him at the time.

His brother-in-law Mbagnick Ndiaye said he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning.

Authorities have yet to confirm Gueye’s death, but videos posted to social media suggest there were others injured as well.

In Saint-Louis, Alpha Yoro Tounkara died on the campus of Gaston Berger University where he was studying geography, and a hundred of his classmates held an all-night vigil for him.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement denying that security forces had operated within the university campus.

Anger has mounted since President Sall last week postponed until December a presidential election scheduled February 25. The postponement came hours before official campaigning was due to begin.

Protests were held across the country on Friday and police made wide use of tear gas to keep crowds away from a main central square in Dakar, also closing main roads, rail lines and major markets.

Reporters Without Borders said at least five journalists were targeted by police in Dakar.

A new round of protests are planned for Tuesday.

Sall said he postponed the election because of a dispute between parliament and the Constitutional Council over potential candidates who were not allowed to stand, and has said he wants to begin a process of “appeasement and reconciliation.”

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