‘Case must proceed’ says woman allegedly raped by Senegal opposition leader Sonko

Sonko speaks during a meeting in Dakar on 16 March 2021.
Sonko speaks during a meeting in Dakar on 16 March 2021. © AFP - Seyllou

In an interview broadcast on Senegalese television on Wednesday, Adji Sarr, the woman who has accused opposition leader Ousmane Sonko of rape, said that the case must proceed in court.


“If Ousmane Sonko has never slept with me, let him swear on the Koran,” said Sarr in the interview, which was broadcast by a number of private television channels. She added that he forced her to have sex on several occasions and threatened reprisals if she did not comply.

She went on camera to repeat that she had been raped by the politician, and that the case must proceed, even though news of his 3 March arrest led to clashes in the capital, Dakar, killing at least five people.

She also said that she fell pregnant because of the rape.

Sonko, 46, a devout Muslim who has a considerable following amongst the country's youth, was detained by police and charged with public disorder after fights with his supporters broke out as he went to court.

He was en route to respond before a judge for Sarr’s separate rape charge that she had filed last month.

The violence subsided only after the judge released Sonko from detention on 8 March, but slapped him with rape charges, which would lead to a formal investigation.

Politically motivated?

Sonko’s supporters believe that his arrest and accusations of rape are politically motivated since he is a rival of President Macky Sall.

The politician himself has accused Sall of fabricating charges to sideline his career - he was considered a potential contender at the ballot box against Sall in 2024.

While the president said this was not the case, alleged victim Sarr said she had never met Sall.

“Let the Senegalese know that there is no conspiracy and that President Macky Sall is not involved in this case,” she said.

She said she was pushing for the case to start so she could get her life back.

“The judiciary needs to do its work,” she said. “I am in a hurry for it to do so because I am not free,” she added.

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