Senegal leader announces amnesty bill to end poll-linked turmoil

DIAMNIADIO   -  Senegal’s President Macky Sall has proposed a general amnesty bill for political protesters arrested since 2021, as he holds talks to end fresh turmoil over delayed elections.

The West African nation is facing its worst political crisis in decades after Sall abruptly deferred the February 25 presidential vote just hours before campaigning was due to begin.

The Constitutional Council overturned the delay and Sall, whose second term is scheduled to end on April 2, launched two days of talks to set a new poll date. He announced the amnesty bill at the start of what he called a “national dialogue” on Monday, suggesting it could reunite the country. “In a spirit of national reconciliation, I will put before the National Assembly this Wednesday in the council of ministers a bill for a general amnesty for acts relating to political demonstrations that took place between 2021 and 2024,” Sall said Monday.

“This will make it possible to pacify the political arena,” he added. According to some rights groups, over 1,000 people have been arrested since 2021 during the power struggle between opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and the state.

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