March 1, 2024

Ousmane Sonko: Senegalese opposition leader comes back to life after hunger strike

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has regained consciousness after he was put in intensive care Thursday, nearly three weeks into a hunger strike to protest criminal charges brought against him by the government of the West African country.

Sonko was detained since July 31 ahead of a trial in which he faces charges of calling for insurrection, conspiracy against the state and among other allegations

The opposition Leader has been admitted to the Main Hospital in downtown Dakar, the capital, since the first week of August as a result of the ill effects of his hunger strike.

El Malick Ndiaye, a spokesperson for the now-dissolved Patriots of Senegal party led by Sonko said the opposition leader had refused medical assistance for several days despite appeals by friends and associates to change his mind about his deliberate starvation.

“His state of health remains very worrying”, the spokesman added.

Sonko finished third in Senegal’s presidential election in 2019 and is popular among the country’s young population.

 

His supporters believe the charges against him, which range from rape and death threats to defamation and conspiracy against the state, are part of a government effort to derail his 2024 presidential ambition.

President Macky Sall – led government denies the claim while blaming Sonko for stoking violence.

 

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