The Chronicle of Higher Education
Monday, February 5,2001
By BURTON BOLLAG
A student was killed last week in Senegal during streetclashes between several thousand protesting students and riot police. Fifteenother people were injured in the clashes.
The disturbances occurred on Wednesday as students from theUniversity of Cheikh Anta Diop, in the capital, Dakar, spilled into the streetsto protest an increase for the fall in the yearly study fee to $49, from theequivalent of $7, a considerable expense for a family in Senegal. Students arealso demanding reductions in the cost of food at university cafeterias andstudent housing.
Student leaders say Balla Gaye, a first-year law student,died after being shot by police. "Our comrade, Balla Gaye, was hit by areal bullet in the throat," Alioune Diop, a student activist, told theAssociated Press. "He died from his wounds while being transported to thehospital."
Senegalese authorities disputed that account, saying thatpolice officers were not carrying firearms. Interior Minister General MamadouNiang said an investigation had been started, and he promised to punish anyonefound guilty of wrongdoing. Civil
Forum, a Dakar-based human rights group, added its voice tothe calls for an impartial inquiry. In a statement, the group said the death"clearly indicates the carelessness employed in the use of deadlyweapons."
Wednesday night, only hours after the killing, PresidentAbdoulaye Wade appeared on state television to express his regret over theincident. He promised to meet with student leaders and instructed PrimeMinister Moustapha Niasse to look into the