Senegal Authorities Detain Parliamentarians

A man holds a Senegalese flag outside the Parliament in Dakar on September 12, 2022

Senegal authorities has detained two opposition members of parliament for physically assaulting a pregnant colleague during a budget debate earlier this month. A violent brawl broke out in the National Assembly when Massata Samb slapped Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition after she scoffed while he was addressing the room.

Gniby, who is pregnant, threw a chair back at Samb before another opposition member of parliament, Mamadou Niang, kicked her in the stomach after she was pushed to the ground.

Both Samb and Niang had been detained and charged with voluntarily causing hurt, their lawyer Adama Fall told reporters.

The defeat has been linked to concerns President Macky Sall will seek a third term in 2024, a move the opposition says would be in breach of term limits and an earlier promise.

Sall, 60, has refused to state clearly whether he plans to run again.

Samb walked over and slapped Gniby in the midst of an address to parliament, during which he raised critical remarks she made days earlier about a spiritual leader opposed to a third Sall term.

Gniby derided his remarks and declared she did not care, after which Samb walked over and hit her in the face.

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