‘We Are Not Looters’: Senegalese Protesters Target French Retailer

March 7, 2021
News

Looters hit a French retailer in Senegal’s capital Dakar Saturday, after days of clashes between opposition supporters and the police, underscoring frustrations over foreign economic influence in the poor country.

The clashes broke out on Wednesday after police arrested opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, a fierce critic of governing elites and of perceived foreign exploitation of the country’s resources.

Unrest continued through Friday across the West African state, with protesters in Dakar torching cars and hurling stones at police.

Tensions appeared to have had calmed by Saturday, after at least four people died nationwide.

Looters returned to a branch of the Auchan supermarket chain in an upscale Dakar neighbourhood for a second day on Saturday to carry off more merchandise.

Some told AFP that they were driven by poverty.

“We are not looters. We don’t have the means to pay for ourselves,” said one woman, who was rummaging among products thrown on the floor, alongside empty shelves.

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