TikTok Banned in Senegal

(TotalConservative.com) – Senegalese government officials blocked access to Chinese-owned video app TikTok on August 2nd after accusing the app of being a part of a large movement to foment unrest and spark riots in the country. Communications minister Moussa Bocar Thiam suggested bad actors were using the app to spread hate and inspire division.

Thiam’s organization had previously cut off internet access and restricted mobile use after a judge had ordered the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. Sonko is popular with younger people and was put in jail on July 31st where he will remain until his trial.

His supporters have suggested the charges are election interference, in a similar situation to Donald Trump in the US. Sonko is accused of attempting an insurrection, conspiracy, and damaging national security, with additional accusations piling on over time.

Senegal’s interior minister Antoine Félix Diome also said that Sonko’s party is officially dissolved. The Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, and Fraternity party was responsible for inspiring violent insurrections, according to Diome. He further claimed Sonko’s party was responsible for deaths and riots that resulted from his conviction in June for “corrupting youth.”

Former prime minister Aminata Touré suggested the move was an “unprecedented setback” for democracy in the small West African nation. It also casts doubt on the outcome of the elections next year when Senegal had previously been considered a democratic beacon and leader in West African diplomacy.

The party issued a statement in response calling current prime minister Macky Sall a despot attempting to hold onto power by imprisoning his chief rival on questionable charges.

Sonko reported that a judge in the Senegalese capital of Dakar had ordered him to be held “temporarily” due to the new charges. His communications director, El Malick Ndiaye suggested that he could still run in next year’s election even if he’s imprisoned. He further suggested that the dissolution of the party will not stop its spirit or members from continuing their political agenda.

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