Sat, 30 Sep 2023

Washington [US], June 4 (ANI): The United States is "troubled and saddened" by the scuffles that erupted in Senegal, the State Department said on Saturday appealing all the parties to "voice their views in a peaceful manner."Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US Department of State, has said as a strong friend and partner to Senegal, the United States is troubled and saddened by the violence and damage witnessed in many parts of the country, according to an official statement of the US Department of State.

"We offer our deep condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, and we wish a fast and full recovery of those injured," the statement added.

Miller added that Senegal's strong record of democratic governance, rule of law, and peaceful coexistence is something for which the Senegalese people can be rightfully proud.

"We urge all parties to voice their views in a peaceful manner," the statement concluded.

After the sentencing of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, deadly violence was witnessed in Senegal, following which the United Nations and African Union, too, appealed to maintain calm and peace, reported Al Jazeera.

As the death toll rose to 15, the army was deployed by the authorities on the streets of Dakar, the capital city.

Following Sonko's two-year sentence on charges of corrupting youth, nine people were killed in the violence.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized the violence and "urged all those involved to .... exercise restraint," a spokesman said, reported Al Jazeera.

The African Union said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the commission's president, sharply denounced the violence and encouraged authorities to abstain from actions that "tarnish the face of Senegalese democracy, of which Africa has always been proud."The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) urged all parties to "defend the country's laudable reputation as a bastion of peace and stability".

Concern over the violence was also voiced by the European Union and France, a former colonial power in Senegal.

Abdou Karim Fofana, a spokesman for the Senegal administration, claimed that "acts of vandalism and banditry" rather than "political demands" were causing the violence.

The government has limited access to a number of social media and messaging sites, including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, in an effort to curtail online interactions. The administration said that this was done to prevent "the dissemination of hateful and subversive messages," Al Jazeera reported. (ANI)

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