As he prepares to meet judges in Dakar, prominent Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who is on trial for rape, said Wednesday he would lead a “freedom caravan” in the region.
Sonko, who has a strong following among Senegal’s young population, has described the trial as a political conspiracy aimed at stifling his bid for the presidency in 2024 elections. Sonko, 48, has been charged with rape and death threats against a Dakar beauty salon employee, which he denies.
Sonko plans to return to Dakar by road and turn the 500 km (310 mile) journey into a “freedom caravan”, according to Sonko, who announced on social media that his convoy would leave Dakar on Thursday.
Public prosecutor Abdou Karim Diop earlier ordered a 10-year prison sentence for rape or at least five years for “corrupting the youth”. He will also be banned from participating in the elections with a sentence.