Exclusive-Man killed in Senegal riots was shot in the back by live round -autopsy report

By Edward McAllister

DAKAR (Reuters) – A student who died in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Friday during clashes between security forces and protesters was killed by a live round in his back, an autopsy report seen by Reuters showed.

Elhaji Cisse, 26, was shot yards from his home in a suburb of Dakar on Friday evening as he returned from praying at a nearby mosque, his brother and friends told Reuters.

Hundreds attended his funeral in Dakar’s Grand Yoff neighbourhood, and later at a cemetery by the ocean, where Cisse was laid to rest covered in a shroud.

The autopsy results, which have not been previously reported, said Cisse was shot in the back and that the bullet punctured his right lung before exiting around his upper arm.

It was not clear who killed Cisse. His brother and friends said security forces shot at protesters and that Cisse was caught in the middle. Reuters was unable to verify this.

At least 16 people have died and hundreds were injured in the worst riots in the West African country in decades, sparked by a jail sentencing given to popular opposition figure Ousmane Sonko that could rule him out of presidential elections in February.

Protesters ransacked petrol stations, banks, businesses and a central university campus. The police responded with tear gas and what rights groups have described as a heavy handed response. More than 500 people have been arrested.

“The recent deaths and injuries of protesters set a worrying tone for the 2024 presidential elections and should be thoroughly investigated,” Carine Kaneza Nantulya, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Monday.

President Macky Sall on Wednesday called for an investigation into the violence. Much of the anger is directed towards him for failing to rule out running for a third term in office. Under Senegalese law, presidents are limited to two terms.

(Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Daniel Wallis)