Senegal student's death sparks fresh university clashes

17 May 2018 - 07:06 By afp
Senegalese police confront students during protests at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar on May 16, 2018 in Dakar. New clashes between students and law enforcement officers erupted at several universities across Senegal the day after a second-year student Mohamed Fallou Sene, 25-years-old, was killed during a protest about late grant payments.
Senegalese police confront students during protests at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar on May 16, 2018 in Dakar. New clashes between students and law enforcement officers erupted at several universities across Senegal the day after a second-year student Mohamed Fallou Sene, 25-years-old, was killed during a protest about late grant payments.
Image: SEYLLOU / AFP

Fresh clashes between protesters and police broke out at universities across Senegal on Wednesday, a day after a student was killed during a demonstration over late grant payments.

Second-year student Mohamed Fallou Sene, 25, was killed after police were called in to quell a protest at Gaston Berger University in the northern city of Saint-Louis on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Ibrahima Ndoye said Wednesday that an autopsy had found Sene "died from a gunshot wound".

The prosecutor did not specify who fired the shot, but told a press conference that his investigation would wrap up no later than the end of the week.

The death sparked further protests on Wednesday near the University Cheikh Anta Diop in the capital Dakar, with students throwing stones at the police, who responded with tear gas, according to AFP journalists.

Tear gas was also deployed at demonstrations in the southern city of Ziguinchor, a police source told AFP. Several public buildings in the city were ransacked, local press reported.

There were also protests at universities in the cities of Bambey and Thies, and a main higher education union began a strike in solidarity with the students.

At Gaston Berger University, students lead a procession along the area where Sene was killed and observed a moment of prayer.

The initial protest had been over "a grants problem", interior minister Ali Ngouye Ndiaye said on Tuesday.

Having not received their payments, students insisted on eating at the university restaurants without paying, which prompted the university's authorities to appeal to the police, he added.

President Senegal Macky Sall professed his "deep sadness" over the death on Twitter Tuesday.

"I offer my condolences to the family of the deceased UGB student Mohamed Fallou Sene," he said. "I have instructed the government to shed light and find those responsible."

Student demonstrations are common in Senegal but rarely result in death.

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