Government buildings torched in Senegal
Senagal: Angry residents of the Senegalese capital late Monday
torched several government buildings including offices of the state
electricity firm to protest against long power cuts, an AFP journalist
Four offices of Senelec were ablaze and four company vehicles
torched. Broken bottles and scattered debris littered the streets of the
seaside city along with tyres burnt by the protesters.
A tax office was ransacked and burnt in a Dakar suburb.
A policeman said the protesters “took everything with them, including
the safe” and added: “The whole of Dakar is burning.” The public anger
against mounting power cuts first erupted in the coastal town of Mbour,
about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Dakar, where police fired tear gas
to disperse the demonstrators.
“Everything is broken in the Senelec” offices — computers and cars —
a witness from Mbour told AFP adding that tensions prevailed across the
Power cuts have steadily worsened in Senegal over the past months and
can last up to two days in some areas, hitting economic activity. The
latest protests come after President Abdoulaye Wade dropped
controversial efforts to run for a third term in February 2012 elections
as nationwide protests turned to riots in the capital Dakar that left
more than 100 people injured — the largest demonstrations since he took
power in 2000.
The shelved election law changes would have added a vice president to
the presidential ticket for next year’s polls, and dropped the winning
threshold for a first-round victory to 25 percent of votes from the
current 50 percent.
Wade’s critics saw the measures as a scheme by the president to avoid
a second round of voting and line up his 42-year-old son Karim Wade,
already a government minister, for succession.
Dakar, Tuesday, AFP