Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Guineans Abroad Morissanda Kouyaté said Senegalese authorities expelled 79 Guineans arrested during protests in Senegal on June 1 and 2, following the conviction of opponent Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison for “youth corruption” in the so-called “Sweet Beauty” affair, Guinean media report.
“There have been arrests and unfortunately there are Guineans who have been arrested there. (…) the Senegalese government had a choice between two things: it was either to bring them before the courts or to expel them”, underlined Saturday, during a press briefing, the head of Guinean diplomacy, noting that “given our good neighborly relations, they chose to evict them”.
“There is a first group of 31 Guineans including 19 men and 12 women who have been arrested. (…). There is a second group that was apprehended and deported. It is a group of 48 Guineans, including 12 children, 18 men and 18 adult women. This group of 48 is already at the border between Guinea and Senegal, in Boundou Fourdou,” he said.
However, the Guinean minister specified that before receiving these Guineans, the authorities will first ensure that the 79 people expelled are all Guineans and have not fraudulently obtained Guinean passports.
Spontaneous demonstrations followed the sentencing of opponent Ousmane Sonko, declared presidential candidate of 2024, to two years in prison for having pushed a young woman under the age of 21 to “debauchery”.
The Interior Ministry said “occult forces” infiltrated the protesters, noting that those arrested include minors and foreigners.
A total of 16 people were killed in Dakar and Ziguinchor (south), and 500 people were arrested following these acts of violence, according to the Ministry of the Interior.