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FILE - Riot police detain demonstrators during a protest against mobilization in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

The U.N. voiced alarm on Tuesday at reports that nearly 2,400 people have been arrested in less than a week in Russia for protesting against the draft ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

Russian authorities have cracked down on criticism of the war in Ukraine, arresting thousands of protesters since the beginning of the conflict in February.

"We are deeply disturbed by the large number of people who have reportedly been arrested," United Nations rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

Arrests have sky-rocketed since Putin announced last Wednesday a partial military mobilization to bolster troops in Ukraine.

Shamdasani pointed to "credible reports some 2,377 demonstrators had been arrested... in various locations across the country."

"It is unclear how many people remain in detention," she said.

On Saturday, police monitoring group OVD-Info counted at least 726 people in detention in 32 cities across Russia, nearly half of them in Moscow.

Shamdasani highlighted in particular the two days of protests in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan, where clashes erupted between demonstrators and the police.

"Dozens of people were reported to have been arrested," she said.

Dagestan — a poor, Muslim-majority republic in the North Caucasus — has seen more men killed in the Kremlin's military offensive in Ukraine than any other part of Russia, according to a tally made by independent Russian media of death notices published online.

In several regions, military and administrative buildings, including enlistment offices, have been attacked during anti-draft protests.

On Monday, a man opened fire and wounded a recruitment officer at an enlistment centre in Siberia.

But Shamdasani stressed that the majority of protests across Russia to date had reportedly been peaceful.

"We stress that arresting people solely for exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty," she said.

"We call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained and for the authorities to abide by their international obligations to respect and ensure the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly."

FILE - Labourers unload rice bags from a supply truck at India's main rice port at Kakinada Anchorage in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India, September 2, 2021. Picture taken September 2, 2021.

Senegal plans to hold talks with India to secure a much-needed rice supply following India's ban on broken rice exports globally and tariffs on other types, the West African nation's president told business leaders late on Monday.

India and Pakistan are Senegal's two top sources of rice, a major food staple in the country. Senegal grows only about half the rice it consumes.

India, the world's biggest rice exporter, banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other types on Sept. 8 as it tries to boost local supplies and calm prices after below-average monsoon rainfall curtailed planting.

The ban could have a severe impact on countries particularly in the West and Central Africa region that depend on imports to make up for the shortfall in their local production.

"We must open negotiations with the Indian and Pakistani government on broken rice imports," Senegal's President Macky Sall told a meeting with business leaders to discuss measures to curb rampant food inflation.

"I want to remind everyone that Senegal is an exporter of phosphoric acid which allows India to make its fertilizer," Sall added, saying Senegal should get some exemption for that reason.

Although Senegal has increased its local rice production to more than 1.2 million tonnes annually from around 200,000 tonnes in 2007, it still needs to import over a million tonnes a year to meet local demand, which is more than 2 million tonnes, according to government data.

West Africa has faced its worst food crisis on record this year, with millions going hungry due to poor harvests and insecurity, while the war in Ukraine has made the region especially vulnerable to food price hikes and shortages.

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