Internet Shut Down As Protests Hit Senegal Over Poll Delay

Mobile internet services have been temporarily cut in Senegal following protests over the indefinite postponement of presidential election announced by President Macky Sall.

Elections earlier scheduled for February 25, 2024 were shifted by Sall, citing a dispute with the candidates list.

Sall said he signed a decree abolishing a November 2023 measure that had the original election date. The announcement comes after the Constitutional Council last month excluded some prominent opposition members from the list of candidates.

The government announced the internet cut on Monday, a day after hundreds protested President Macky Sall’s postponement of the presidential election.

The government, through Communication Minister Moussa Bocar Thiam, said it cut the internet because of “hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in a context of threats of disturbances to public order”.

It comes a day after Senegalese took a private television channel off air, accusing it of inciting violence in its coverage of the protests.

Amnesty International has denounced the decision and called on the Senegalese authorities to “respect freedom of the press and the rights of the citizens to be informed”.

Lawmakers have mulled the idea to shift the presidential vote on 25 August and keep President Sall in power until his successor is installed.

Former Prime Minister and opposition candidate Aminata Touré, who was arrested during the Sunday protest, confirmed in an online post that she’s been released.

There are fears that Macky Sall postponed the election in order to pave the way for his chosen candidate as opposition were set to grab power.

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