French soldier arrested in Senegal after “aggression”

A French soldier accused of wounded a young Senegalese in Dakar was arrested by the Senegalese gendarmerie and referred to the prosecutor’s office.

Oumar Watt was seriously injured during an incident that occurred on the evening of Sunday, September 16, in the posh Almadies district of Dakar.

He is hospitalized in the neurology department of the biggest hospital in the Senegalese capital. His older brother, who is contacted by telephone by the BBC, says that the CT scan on September 17 indicates that Oumar Watt had a frontal bone fracture, as well as multiple brain contusions.

According to Omar Watt’s older brother, no Senegalese or French official visited the hospital or approached the family to inquire about his state of health.

“There has been no authority so far, neither on the French side, nor on the Senegalese side, it is the family that takes care of the things provided to the sick person,” said the brother of the victim, Mouhamed Watt.

The exact circumstances of the incident that occurred more than a week ago remain unclear. The family of Oumar Watt and part of the Senegalese press speak of an “aggression” committed by French soldiers.

But an official of the French elements in Senegal, contacted by email by the BBC, argues that this is a fight between a French military and a young Senegalese. It states that the French side has filed a complaint. The case being pending before the courts, the French army will not communicate on the subject, adds the same source.

The French soldier in question was arrested by the Senegalese gendarmerie, whose spokesman told the BBC that he was referred to the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

A Senegalese group is calling for a march scheduled for Saturday to support Oumar Watt.

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