Local media reported that one policeman was killed during the riots, in which protesters threw rocks, overturned cars and burned tyres and security forces fired tear gas, raising worries of growing instability in West Africa’s most peaceful nation. Calm had returned to the capital Dakar by morning and security boosted around the presidential palace. Truckloads of police in full riot gear patrolled the city, armed with tear gas grenade launchers, according to a Reuters witness.
“We are asking the people to remain alert and to resist Abdoulaye Wade,” Abdoul Aziz Diop, the spokesman for opposition activist movement M23 said. “If Wade tries to impose himself on us . . . we will resist.”
He said that opposition figures and activist leaders would meet to discuss their next steps. The clashes came after Senegal’s top legal body late on Friday night validated the candidacy of 85-year-old Wade and 13 rivals for the February 26 vote, but turned down the presidential bid of world music star Youssou N’Dour, saying he did not have the required
10 000 signatures of support. — Reuters