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Senegal: Authorities block access to social network Tiktok

Senegalese authorities on Wednesday cut off access to the social media app TikTok and stepped up a crackdown on dissidents, days after dissolving the main opposition party and arresting its leader.

TikTok app logo
TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photo

A power struggle between PASTEF Party leader Ousmane Sonko and President Macky Sall has sparked at times violent demonstrations, most recently on Monday, and has dented Senegal’s reputation as West Africa’s most stable democracy.

Senegal on Monday dismantled Pastef and restricted access to internet services, citing threats to the country’s stability. The communication minister also used the same rationale to block TikTok.

Moussa Bokar Thiam said in a statement on Wednesday, “The TikTok application is a social network favored by malicious people who spread hateful and destructive messages.”

Sonko was taken into custody on Saturday after being indicted on charges including conspiracy to riot. Opposition supporters, who have held protests throughout the year, have accused president Sall of trying to keep Sonko out of the 2024 presidential election.

The government denies this and accuses Sonko and the Pastef of inciting the violence.

Dissident protests erupted Monday night in the southern town of Ziguinchor, where Sonko is mayor, and on Tuesday, attackers threw Molotov cocktails into a passenger bus, killing two people and burning two others.

Sonko, who denies wrongdoing, called on his supporters to take to the streets.

A month ago Macky Sall ended widespread speculation by saying he would not seek a third term as president next year.

The region has seen a series of military coups over the past three years, including one in Niger a week ago.

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Senegal: Authorities block access to social network Tiktok

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