A concert of pots and horns was held in Senegal at the call of the opposition

International 23 June, 2022

The concert of pots and horns was played on Wednesday evening, June 22 in Dakar at the call of the main Senegalese opponent, seeking to challenge the authorities as legislative elections approach.

At Cheikh Anta Diop University, in the central part of the city and in several residential areas of the Senegalese capital, residents of all ages went out at 8 p.m. (local time and GMT) on the street or on their balcony, tapping kitchen utensils to make as much noise as possible, AFP journalists note.

«Let the whole of Senegal make noise and that Macky Sall understands that Senegalese do not agree either with his dictatorial ambitions or with his failed project for a third term», – Ousmane Sonko said on Monday. The opposition refuses the president’s intention to run again in 2024. Mr. Sall remains unclear on this issue.

Tensions are rising in Senegal after the Constitutional Council confirmed the invalidation on June 3 of the national list of holders of the Yewwi Askan wi coalition for legislative elections on July 31. The main opponent, Usman Sonko, who took third place in the 2019 presidential elections and was declared a candidate for the 2024 elections, and other opposition figures were excluded from the race.

The opposition calls for the restoration of the list and threatens to prevent the holding of elections. She called for demonstrations on June 17, but the authorities banned the meetings, citing the risk of unrest. According to the opposition, on that day Dakar and Casamance (south) became the scene of clashes, as a result of which three people were killed and more than two hundred people were arrested.

On Wednesday, eleven civil society organizations invited the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Mr. Clement Nyaletsossi Voul, «to act and organize a mission to Senegal to put an end to serious violations of the right to peaceful assembly».

Ousmane Sonko again called on Senegalese to demonstrate against the government on June 29. Neither the opposition nor the authorities have shown any signs of seeking a compromise, raising fears of an escalation of the conflict, despite various calls for dialogue from outsiders.