AFRICA/SENEGAL - The Council of Catholic Laity: "Risks of destabilization". More clashes over the postponement of the vote

Monday, 12 February 2024 elections   violence   laity  

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) - Three dead and over 250 arrested. This is the outcome of the clashes on the sidelines of the protests that took place last weekend in Senegal against the postponement of the presidential elections in Senegal decided on February 3 by President Macky Sall (see Fides 5/2/2024). The elections were supposed to take place on February 25th, but after the president initially announced the postponement to a date yet to be determined, the National Assembly decided to postpone them to December 15th. In the capital Dakar, security forces used tear gas and deafening grenades against demonstrators. While calm appeared to have returned to Dakar, there were further clashes in Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance province, between dozens of youths and security forces who formed checkpoints and threw stones. In addition to the opposition parties, several civil society organizations have also expressed their opposition to the postponement of the election. These include the Catholic lay association CNL, which in a statement expressed "with bitterness and regret" its own rejection of this decision, "the consequences of which could lead Senegal into an uncertain future". "Faithful to its values of peace and brotherhood and in the interests of the Nation, the CNL calls on the President of the Republic as well as all political parties to strictly respect the electoral calendar. The CNL calls on the State and all parties involved in the electoral process, especially political parties, "to work for peace and stability in Senegal by finding the necessary solutions as quickly as possible to organize a transparent, comprehensive, peaceful and democratic election," the statement said. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 12/2/2024)