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Senegal Searching for Brawling MPs


FILE: People take pictures with a Senegalese MP outside the Parliament in Dakar on September 12, 2022 ahead of the first parliamentary session since the July 2022 legislative elections

Senegalese authorities were searching for two opposition lawmakers on Monday after they attacked a woman MP during a brawl in parliament last week, a senior police official told AFP.

A senior police official told AFP that officers were "on the heels" of the two men since Saturday after Dakar prosecutors launched proceedings against them, confirming local media reports.

"They went into hiding as soon as they found out that a case had been triggered against them," the source added.

Amy Ndiaye was slapped by Massata Samb and received a kick to her stomach from Mamadou Niang during a justice ministry budget vote on Thursday, after being accused of insulting the religious leader of their party.

Ndiaye threw a chair at Samb and a fistfight erupted among MPs before the speaker suspended the session. Some ruling party MPs said she was pregnant and taken to the hospital.

Ndiaye's lawyer said the speaker of the National Assembly addressed a letter to the prosecutors demanding action against the MPs.

Ndiaye had said Serigne Moustapha Sy, an influential pro-opposition Muslim leader who is not a lawmaker, had betrayed his word and disrespected President Macky Sall, according to media reports.

The violence in parliament was roundly condemned in Senegal and came during an annual UN-backed awareness campaign about violence against women and girls.

Senegal is widely viewed as a beacon of stability and democracy in West Africa -- a region notorious for coups and dictatorships.

President Sall lost his absolute majority in parliament after legislative elections in July, forcing his party to form a coalition to stay in power.


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