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Violence erupts in Senegal after opposition leader Sonko detained, internet restricted

Dakar: The Government of Senegal has temporarily shut off internet access on Monday after it dissolved the political party of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko for rallying supporters into stoking unrest during violent protests last month, according to RT.
Sonko, a prominent member of the opposition, was detained on Friday and is charged with seven offences including criminal conspiracy and preparing an uprising, the decision to shut off the internet services was made.
Supporters of the PASTEF party, which Sonko will represent as a candidate in the February 2024 presidential elections, are outraged that his conviction could prevent him from running, RT reported.
Violence erupted in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and elsewhere in the country last month after Sonko, 49, was sentenced to two years in prison on a separate charge of “corrupting the youth.” Despite the sentence, however, Sonko had not yet been transferred to jail.
Nine people were killed in the ensuing unrest, prompting authorities to impose a blanket ban on the use of several social media platforms, RT reported.
Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome announced at the time that sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter had been suspended because demonstrators were using them to incite violence.
Full access to mobile internet across the country was restored after a two-day blackout, RT reported.
In a statement on Monday, Senegal's Communications Ministry explained that the move is in response to the “dissemination of hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks.”
Communications Minister Moussa Bocar Thiam directed mobile network operators on Monday to comply with the orders. (ANI)

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