Senegal: Protests in Kedougou

On Sunday, a young deaf man, KéKouta Sidibé, was arrested in Kedougou, Senegal, on charges of smoking marijuana. When he died in police custody, protests broke out the following day.

A resident of Kedougou told AFP that hundreds of angry residents had gone to the paramilitary police headquarters to demand punishment for those involved in the youth’s death.

They threw stones and police responded with teargas. About 500 people remained in front of the police offices by Monday afternoon, and businesses shut their doors fearing further violence.

The death and the protests have earned major coverage in the Senegalese press (French), and Kedougou reportedly remains tense. See a map of Kedougou here.

Senegalese human rights groups, charging the police with brutality, have called for an investigation into Sidibé’s death (French). Minister of the Interior Mbaye Ndiaye announced on Monday that an inquiry will take place (French). He conveyed the president’s condolences to the family.

In December 2008, riots broke out in Kedougou over the cost of living, displacing “scores” of people.

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