Religious and civil society activists have announced plans to hold a demonstration in central Dakar on Saturday, November 7, against the French government's response to recent terrorist attacks in France. Activists plan to gather at the Place de l'Obelisque from 10:00 until around 14:00 (local time). A related protest march may also be held from the Place de l'Obelisque to the Rond Point de la RTS in the Dakar-Plateau following the static demonstration.
An increased police presence is likely around the Place de l'Obelisque on Saturday, with localized disruptions likely in the area and along the planned route of the march.
Tensions over the response of the French government to recent Islamist attacks and terrorism in the country have been increasing since the murder of teacher Samuel Paty by an alleged Islamist extremist in the northern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on October 16. The attack prompted an outpouring of support in France and a strong response from the government which saw dozens arrested and several organizations and mosques closed in a widespread crackdown on alleged Islamic extremism. However, comments from President Emmanuel Macron regarding religious rights and freedom of expression and the display of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad at solidarity rallies following the attack have since prompted accusations of Islamophobia from several Muslim political and religious leaders around the world.
Dozens of protests over the crackdown and French government policies have since been held outside French embassies and consulates in multiple countries over the last week, including Turkey, Bangladesh, Iran, Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Pakistan, and Indonesia, some of which have drawn thousands of participants. There have also been widespread calls for a boycott of French goods, particularly foodstuffs, in Muslim-majority countries, with the protest being supported by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several other Muslim leaders.
Those in Dakar are advised to monitor developments regarding the protests, avoid all protests and political gatherings due to the risk of disruptions and unrest, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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