Inside Story

Why has the conviction of Senegal’s Sonko sparked such anger?

Demonstrations broke out in Senegal after a court sentenced opposition leader Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison.

He was convicted of “corrupting the youth” but cleared of rape. The charges relate to an incident at a massage parlour in 2021.

Supporters say the violence across the country reflects widespread anger, particularly among young people, who feel ignored by the political elite.

They say the case against Sonko was politically motivated and was part of a plot to stop him from running for president next year.

Macky Sall’s government denies this and says Senegal is facing an insurrection.


Mohammed Jamjoom


Mucahid Durmaz – Analyst with Verisk Maplecroft global risk intelligence consultancy

Marie-Roger Biloa – Chairwoman and CEO of the Africa International Media Group

Borso Tall – Freelance journalist who has reported extensively on Senegal’s political and social tensions