Two killed after Senegalese police break up protest over mining jobs

By Ngouda Dione

DAKAR (Reuters) – At least two people were killed by gunfire during a police crackdown on a protest over mining jobs in southeastern Senegal on Monday, local Mayor Mahamady Sissoko said.

Police in the town of Khossanto used force against protesters who were voicing opposition to changes to local rules over the recruitment of unskilled labour by mining companies, he said.

“We are at two dead from gunshots and seven wounded, who are being treated at the regional hospital,” Sissoko said by phone, adding that around 37 people had been detained.

It was not immediately possible to reach the police for comment.

The Senegalese arm of human rights group Amnesty International condemned the violence and called for an investigation in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. It called on “defence and security forces to refrain from any excessive use of force against demonstrators.”

Rights groups have expressed concern about the authorities’ handling of recent bouts of political unrest that have undermined Senegal’s image as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies. At least 16 people were killed in clashes in June, some whose relatives said that security forces opened fire with live rounds.

(Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Leslie Adler)