A woman who filed a r@pe charge against Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko says her case must proceed, after deadly clashes followed his arrest.
AFP reports that in an interview on Wednesday, which was aired on state television, Adji Sarr said Sonko had forced her to sleep with him on several occasions and had threatened reprisals if she refused. In the interview, it was also revealed that she had fallen pregnant by Sonko.
According to local and international media reports, police detained the opposition leader on charges of public disorder after scuffles with his supporters broke out as he travelled to court.
Police said they then arrested him for disrupting public order when he refused to change his route to the court, according to BBC news.
At least five people died in the clashes between opposition supporters and security forces that followed Sonko’s arrest. The unrest died down only after a judge freed the 46-year-old from detention. Sonko, who posted bail and was released March 8, after five days in custody, has urged supporters to continue the protests, which had left schools closed until March 15.
Furthermore, bishops in Senegal have appealed for an end to violence after at least eight people died and hundreds were arrested in street protests, according to the website Catholic News.
However, protesters said the arrest of Sonko was intended to bar him from competing in the country’s 2024 elections.
Sonko, who is considered a strong contender against President Macky Sall in 2024, himself accused the president of engineering the rape charge in order to sideline him from politics, although Sall has denied it, reports AFP.
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