Senegalese politicians have denounced a "plot" to topple President Abdoulaye Wade and said those suspected of involvement would face arrest. Activist groups have called for protests on Saturday, the anniversary of Wade's victory in 2000.
AFP - Senegal on Saturday denounced a "plot" to topple the government of President Abdoulaye Wade, who came to power exactly 11 years ago, and said arrests would follow.
The plotters included opposition activists, artists and students, a communique by Justice Minister Cheikh Tidiane Sy read on state television said early Saturday.
"The avowed objective of the plotters is to stir trouble to bring the people on to the streets, create disorder and violence to topple the regime," it said.
"The state prosector has decided to nip the plot in the bud ... by proceeding to arrest individuals duly identified as being involved in the plot," it said.
A range of political and civic groups have announced plans to demonstrate on Saturday, the 11th anniversary of Wade's electoral victory on March 19, 2000. He was sworn in on April 1 that year and is now 84.
He was re-elected for five years in 2007 after a change to the constitution and announced as of September 2009 that he would seek another mandate. The opposition believes he should step down in 2012.
"The security and defence forces are already prepared to channel demonstrations and make them safe. They have also received orders to tolerate no excesses, no violence, no deterioration of property," the ministry of the interior said in a statement.
"Organisers and participants in gatherings, rallies and demonstrations where there is damage and violence will be held financially responsible for the costs" incurred, the ministry warned.
The government said that none of the pre-announced demonstrations had been banned, despite fears of unrest in the west African country, where there is heated debate over Wade's tenure.
Saturday's rallies also come in a tense social and economic climate, marked notably by frequent power cuts, which have caused severe setbacks to business and industry and exasperated many Senegalese people.
Date created : 2011-03-19