Senegal Government Bans Opposition March

(AFP) – Senegal’s government has banned an opposition march planned for the centre of Dakar to protest against President Abdoulaye Wade’s bid to run for a third term in February polls.

Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom told the opposition in a statement received by AFP: “I inform you that the demonstrations you plan cannot happen at the foreseen date and place.”

In the message to leaders of the June 23 Movement (M23) the minister warned: “The administration will take all its responsibilities to ensure the safety of people and property.”

M23, which groups political opponents and civil organisations, had said on Tuesday it would hold a major march to Independence Square, in the heart of the capital near the presidential palace.

Before the ban was announced, M23 coordinator Alioune Tine declared: “We are going to hold our march tomorrow, nobody can stop us. We condemn the Senegalese administration’s biased attitude. At this rate, it will end up being responsible for violence.”

Police on Tuesday had blocked youths from settling in another square in Dakar where they planned a permanent sit-in.
Scores of police were deployed on and around Obelisk Square, preventing members of rapper-led youth movement “Fed Up” from gathering for their protest.

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