The people of Senegal are tired.
For almost two weeks now, the streets of Dakar, and now spreading across the rest of the West African country, have been filled with Senegalese people expressing dissatisfaction with President Macky Sall's government and the recent arrest of Ousmane Sonko, an opposition political leader. In the background of all this, and what sparked the protests, is the arrest of Sonko.
Sonko, who came third in the 2019 presidential elections in Senegal, was first arrested for public disturbance and inciting insurrection. What then followed was rape charges were added. The rape charges relate to a woman, a masseuse at a massage parlor in Dakar, who said that in February 2021 Sonko visited the massage parlor and proceeded to rape her. Not only that, but Sonko also said he would kill her if she disclosed anything.
Now, on Monday Sonko appeared in court in Dakar and he was indicted on all charges and released on bail. After that, he still maintained his innocence and urged supporters and protestors to intensify protests across Senegal.
What is concerning for me is partly how the rape has become almost dismissed. It appears as if we are unable to process the nuance that it is possible for both the rape allegations to be true and for the claims that President Macky Sall is using the rape charges for political reasons.
Accepting that the two can exist simultaneously is important, especially across Africa. Accepting also that the people of Senegal are tired of an incompetent government, something that is unfortunately too common across our beloved continent is also important.
All these things can exist together.
Two things can be true at the same time: Ousmane Sonko could be guilty of rape and President Macky Sall could be using the rape allegations for political purposes. What is clear is that the people of Senegal are tired. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)
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