University head seeks calm eight months after student death

Gaston Berger University (UGB) of Saint-Louis is holding an inquiry to try to calm the atmosphere at the university which has been troubled since last year, notably following the death in May of a student, Mouhamadou Fallou Sène, who was shot by police during student protests.

Sud Quotidien, a Dakar daily newspaper, reported that Professor Ousmane Thiaré, president of the university, presided over a meeting to set up a committee representing all members of the institution’s community – including management, administrative and technical staff, teachers and students.

“The objective of this inquiry is to try to motivate everybody concerned at UGB, to propose solutions for calming down this university in order to achieve a peaceful institution where all educational activities are carried out normally, and to attain these objectives respecting the academic calendar,” Sud Quotidien reported Thiaré as saying.

The unrest at UGB dates back in particular to 15 May 2018, when Mouhamadou Fallou Sène, a 26-year-old married student and father, was shot by a police officer while taking part in a student demonstration demanding payment of grants and better conditions for studying.

In the days before the incident, the students’ union CESL had called for protest action against grant payment delays, and the university president at that time, Baydallaye Kane, called in the police, Jeune Afrique reported last year.

According to two witnesses, one of the police officers aimed his gun in Sène’s direction and shot him in the right thigh, causing him to lose a lot of blood, reported Jeune Afrique. One of the witnesses, Alexandre Sambou, said the officer was not in danger at that moment.

After a delay Sène was taken to hospital, where he died from a heavy haemorrhage from a gunshot wound, according to the autopsy report, reported Jeune Afrique. – Compiled by Jane Marshall.

This article is drawn from local media.
University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.