While Senegal is on fire, with two people killed on Thursday, one in Casamance, another in Guédiawaye, after the arrest of the opponent Ousmane Sonko, President Macky Sall has not yet pronounced on the issue, to the great displeasure of the people who brought him to power.
The leader of the PASTEF party, Ousmane Sonko, was arrested on Wednesday 3 March, while he was expected by the judge of the 8th Cabinet, regarding accusations against him of rape of the masseuse Adji Sarr. A matter of itinerary between the prefect of Dakar, who wanted the boss of PASTEF to take the Corniche, and Ousmane Sonko, who wanted to pass through the Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop, led to a blockade that led to the arrest of the leader of PASTEF, charged with « disturbing public order and participation in an unauthorised demonstration ».
This arrest immediately triggered demonstrations of rare violence. Petrol stations were vandalised and Auchan shops were ransacked and looted. Heavy damage was noted in the Senegalese capital on the same day that Ousmane Sonko was arrested. The next day, Thursday, March 4, 2021, the protests intensified and spread throughout the country, especially in southern Senegal, where a 20-year-old « was shot dead ». On the same Thursday, another person lost his life in the suburbs of Dakar.
While several people have been injured, the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, was « offended » by the Senegalese silence that day. The silence of the Head of State was strongly criticized on the various television platforms and sets. The Ousmane Sonko case, which has turned a good part of Senegal upside down, obviously started from nothing: a private case of rape charges, which Macky Sall played down.
When asked by RFI whether « the President had nothing to do with it » in what some called a state conspiracy against Ousmane Sonko, his main opponent, Macky Sall’s response was: « It’s clear, I have enough to do than to plot for such low things ». Earlier, Macky Sall had said in the same interview: « It’s a regrettable affair, I don’t know what’s at the bottom of it. I can’t wish my worst opponent such a situation »… ».
What situation was Macky Sall talking about when Ousmane Sonko had not yet been heard? His parliamentary immunity had not even been waived and his responsibility had not yet been determined. He enjoyed the presumption of innocence. Now that this step has been taken, Ousmane Sonko has been arrested and Senegal is on fire. Only, Macky Sall keeps a deafening silence. A silence that only he understands. Forgetting that he has to talk to the people. That he has an obligation to speak to the people who elected him.
President Macky Sall, you have the floor. The Senegalese people are asking you to speak to them and to give them a solution to this chaotic situation. Chaotic, because the Auchan shops are suffering from it. Chaotic because the Senegalese people are distraught. Chaotic because shops are destroyed. Chaotic because the headquarters of Radio Futurs Medias (RFM) has just been attacked, with its share of violence and damage.