Senegal opposition calls new anti-Wade protest

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Senegal opposition calls new anti-Wade protest

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The opposition in Senegal has called for another unofficial anti-government demonstration on Monday in the centre of Dakar, following more clashes on Sunday night between protesters and security forces.

In the latest outbreak of anger against 85-year-old President Wade’s bid for a third term at next weekend’s election, police and youths fought street battles near the presidential mansion.

In one town 25 kilometres from the capital, a young protester was killed after being struck on the head.

It was the fifth straight day of demonstrations.

In Dakar, people’s anger was fuelled after security forces reportedly fired a teargas grenade into a mosque.

“Look at these bullets here, they want to kill us, they do this on purpose. Abdoulaye Wade, that’s enough, look at your bullets, your teargas, these kill if they touch you,” cried one young man at the scene, holding rubber bullets in his hand.

There are real fears of instability in what has been West Africa’s most peaceful nation.

Opposition groups including the M23 movement have threatened to make Senegal ungovernable if Wade does not step down before Sunday’s vote.

They argue his candidacy violates constitutional limits. Both the US and France, Senegal’s former colonial power, have said they would like to see power pass to a younger generation.

Wade has dismissed foreign criticism and mocked the opposition’s struggles to form a united front.