A student leader said that three university students set fire to themselves on the campus of Senegal’s largest university to protest changes in the way credits are being counted in the college’s geography department.
Seydou Niang, who organised a week-long hunger strike, said that three of his classmates doused themselves in gasoline and set themselves alight on Friday. Niang spoke on the telephone from the hospital, where he had accompanied the three. He said all three had survived, but one had suffered severe burns and was in intensive care.
The University of Cheikh Anta Diop was once one of the most prestigious universities in West Africa. It has fallen into disrepair and the campus is frequently immobilised both by student protests and strikes by the low-paid professors.
Meanwhile, the son of former Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade appeared before the west African nation’s top anti-corruption prosecutor to justify his income against “illegal wealth” accusations.
A smiling Karim Wade made no comment as he arrived at the Dakar offices of Alioune Ndao, special prosecutor of the Anti-Corruption Court who has given the politician 30 days to justify his past and present income.
Supporters of the former ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) who shouted “Free Karim” in front of the court were dispersed with tear gas by security forces and responded by throwing stones in a brief exchange.
The PDS accuses the regime of Macky Sall, who defeated Wade’s father in presidential elections last year, of conducting a “witch hunt” since it came to power and imposing a climate of “terror” against the PDS hierarchy.
Several leaders of the 2000-2012 Wade regime, including his son, have been repeatedly questioned by police and judges investigating allegations of “illegal enrichment” but this is the first time Wade junior has been summoned by Ndao.
The 44-year-old is also under investigation in France following a complaint by the Senegalese government for the alleged embezzlement of public funds, misuse of corporate assets and corruption, according to a judicial source.
After his last questioning by police in November, he was banned from leaving Senegal along with six other officials from the former regime.
The former minister has held several high profile portfolios including international cooperation, air transport, infrastructure and energy and was nicknamed “Super Minister” and “Minister of Heaven and Earth.”