Senegal bans protest over delayed vote, suspends internet access

Senegalese authorities on Tuesday suspended mobile internet and banned a march against the delay of this month's presidential poll as the UN voiced concern about tensions in the country.

Three people have been killed during violent protests after President Macky Sall's decision to push back the February 25 vote plunged traditionally stable Senegal into one of its worst crises in decades.

"We are deeply concerned about the tense situation in Senegal," Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the UN’s human rights office, told reporters in Geneva.

"Following reports of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force against protesters and restrictions on civic space, we call on the authorities to ensure that they uphold Senegal’s long-held tradition of democracy and respect for human rights," she added.

Demonstrations are subject to authorisation in Senegal, with authorities refusing to give the green light for many opposition rallies in recent years.

Ely mane Haby Kane, one of the organisers of the march, told AFP he had received an official letter from local authorities in the capital Dakar that the march was banned as it could seriously hamper traffic.

"We will postpone the march because we want to remain within the law," said Malick Diop, coordinator of a collective that called the protest.

"The march was banned. There's a problem with the route. So we will change this," he told AFP.

France urges new elections, ‘proportionate’ use of force

Sall, who has been in power since 2012, is now seeking a way out of the turmoil.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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