Clashes in Senegal over water shortages: gendarmerie

Villagers in southern Senegal clashed with gendarmes during protests Saturday over the lack of running water, the local gendarmerie and the media reported.

During the clashes, which took place at Cap Skirring in the Casamance region, the gendarmes used tear gas to disperse the crowd, their spokesman said.

According to media reports citing witnesses, the gendarmes fired live rounds at the protesters, wounding some of them.

The villagers ignored a ban on the demonstration issued a day earlier, which led the gendarmes to intervene, their spokesman said.

The demonstrators threw stones at them and set tyres on fire. Officers arrested 16 people including four suspected organisers of the protest, the spokesman added.

The protests were against a long-running problem locally of a lack of running water.

Cap Skirring, at the extreme southwest of Senegal, is a stretch of land jutting out into the Atlantic that is very popular with tourists, in particular the French, because of its beaches.

But local people rely on seasonal work that comes with the tourism, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)