New Clashes Erupt in Senegal Capital

Posted February 1st, 2012 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Senegal police clashed with rock-throwing students in the capital, Dakar, on Wednesday following the death of a student during riots a day earlier.

Officers fired tear gas to disperse a group of students protesting near the University of Dakar. Calm was restore but the city remained tense late Wednesday.

Unrest began sweeping the country on Friday, after a court decision to allow President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a third term. The constitution limits the president to two terms, but Mr. Wade argued the two-term limit did not apply to him because it came into effect after he was first elected in 2000.

Both the United States and France have expressed concerns about the 85-year-old's decision to run again.

During an interview with VOA on Wednesday, French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the people of Senegal are calling for a “generational change”.

Senegal's foreign minister, Madicke Niang, responded in an interview with VOA, saying his country does not need advice from foreign nations.

An opposition movement known as M23 has called for demonstrations in order to pressure Mr. Wade to withdraw from the February 26 poll.

Thousands of people crowded the city's center on Tuesday for a rally that ended with clashes between riot police and students.

Witnesses and officials say a 30-year-old student died after being run over by a truck during the protests. Police deny the incident involved a police vehicle.

At least four people have been killed since Friday's court ruling.