Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Senegal’s government suspends mobile Internet access amid days of deadly clashes

Published:Sunday | June 4, 2023 | 4:26 PM
Police in riot gear stand guard during clashes with demonstrators in Dakar, Senegal, Saturday, June 3, 2023. The clashes first broke out this week after opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was convicted of corrupting youth and sentenced to two years in prison. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal's government temporarily suspended mobile phone data on Sunday as the country reels from days of deadly clashes between police and supporters of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy said that because of the diffusion of “subversive messages in a context of public disorder in certain localities,” cell phone Internet data would be suspended during certain time periods.

The statement comes after days of deadly clashes throughout the West African nation between Sonko's supporters and police.

The official death toll is unclear. The government says that 15 people, including two members of the security forces, have been killed, while the opposition says 19 people have died.

The clashes first broke out on Thursday, after Sonko was convicted of corrupting youth but acquitted on charges of raping a woman who worked at a massage parlour and making death threats against her.

Sonko, who didn't attend his trial in Dakar, was sentenced to two years in prison.

His lawyer said that a warrant hadn't yet been issued for his arrest.

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