Senegalese opposition leader in court as protests continue

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Detained Senegalese opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, will appear in court Monday (today) with his supporters urged to massively descend onto the streets for a new round of protests against his arrest.

Five people, including a schoolboy, have been killed in days of clashes sparked by the arrest, the worst violence in years in a country usually seen as a beacon of stability in a volatile region.

Sonko is due before the court in Dakar to answer questions about a rape charge, which he says is politically motivated.

Schools in the capital have been ordered closed for a week, as the political opposition has called for three more days of protests beginning Monday.

The unrest has alarmed the United Nations and Senegal’s neighbours, who have appealed for all sides to show restraint, and President Macky Sall, yet to publicly address the situation — is facing mounting pressure to speak out.

Sonko, 46, a fierce critic of the governing elite in Senegal, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of disturbing public order.

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