US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has called for respect of democracy in a phonecall with the leader of Senegal, where deadly clashes have taken place after the opposition leader’s conviction.
While offering condolences to the Senegalese President after at least 16 people were killed in the unrest, Secretary Blinken reiterated the United States’ support for the Senegalese people and democratic values.
The violence in Senegal erupted last week after opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, a former tax inspector who has found a following among the young with talk against poverty and corruption, was sentenced to two years behind bars.
He was convicted for morally corrupting a young woman after escaping a more serious charge of rape. He and his supporters allege that the prosecution is aimed at taking him out of the running for elections next year.