Reacting to the death of a teenage girl and the clashes between police and residents in the Ngor neighbourhood of Dakar, Ousmane Diallo, researcher at Amnesty International’s regional office for West and Central Africa, said:
“Amnesty International denounces the excessive use of force by the gendarmerie in Ngor on 9 May, and during previous demonstrations in the area. Amnesty International recalls that, under international law, the use of force in policing must be strictly necessary and proportional, and that the use of firearms is prohibited except in cases of imminent danger of death or serious injury.”
Since mid-April, residents of Ngor have been protesting about the use of a plot of land. Amnesty International has seen several videos and images of gendarmes using excessive force against demonstrators, firing bullets in their direction, and firing tear gas in enclosed spaces. In some videos, gendarmes can be seen beating arrested and handcuffed people, or using individuals as human shields to advance through a neighbourhood where mobility has been impeded by several barricades.
We call on the authorities to investigate the use of lethal weapons by the police in Ngor on 9 May and in previous incidents. In particular, the authorities must bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of 14 people, 12 of whom were killed by gunfire from security forces during demonstrations in March 2021.Ousmane Diallo, West and Central Africa Researcher, Amnesty International
The origin of the protests stems from a dispute over the use of a 6,300m2 plot of land in the commune of Ngor. While the inhabitants want to build a high school, the authorities plan to build a barracks for the gendarmerie there.
On 9 May, the neighbourhood of Ngor was cordoned off in the morning by the gendarmes, who restricted all access and prevented the inhabitants from leaving. During the day, they fired bullets at demonstrators, according to testimonies received by Amnesty International and videos watched. According to reports, a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed, while the authorities declared that she had been hit in the head by a canoe propeller.