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12 févr. 2019 | 10h22 UTC

Senegal: Electoral violence ahead of February 24 presidential elections /update 1

Senegal Alerte de sécurité

Electoral violence amid campaigning for February 24 presidential election

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/2/2019, 12h00 until 24/2/2019, 11h59 (Africa/Dakar). COUNTRY/REGION Senegal

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Event

Several political clashes erupted across the country amid the ongoing campaigning period ahead of the February 24 presidential elections.

On Monday, February 11, clashes between supporters of the PUR (Unity and Rally Party) opposition party and supporters of the Benno Bokk Yakaar ruling coalition party took place in Tambacounda. One person supporting the ruling party was killed in the incident.

Furthermore, at least two people were injured on February 10, in Fatick, following clashes between supporters of the ruling party and supporters of the opposition candidate Ousmane Sonko.

Clashes between government and opposition supporters also took place in Saint-Louis on February 4, resulting in four people injured.

Further political rallies and related events are expected to be held until the official end of the campaigning period on February 22. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are likely in the vicinity of any election-related event. Further clashes between supporters of different political parties are likely in the coming days.

Context

The campaign period for the upcoming presidential elections started on February 3, and is scheduled to end on February 22. There are five candidates running for president, including incumbent President Macky Sall. Voting is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 24.

Opposition groups have held regular protests throughout January 2019 and ahead of the February 24 general elections to denounce discrepancies in the electoral process, including the decision to block the jailed former Mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, and other opposition candidates from running for president. Another leading opposition figure, former Minister Karim Wade, will also be unable to contest President Sall in the upcoming elections due to convictions. Senegalese ballot access laws introduced in 2018 require a minimum of 53,000 signatures, or sponsors, in support of a candidate to appear on a presidential ballot.

Advice

Individuals in Senegal are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and political rallies due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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