Protester Sets Self on Fire in Senegal

It's the latest self-immolation in Africa
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2011 11:57 AM CST
Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade walks during a welcoming ceremony in Brasilia, Wednesday, May 16, 2007.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
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(Newser) – A man set himself on fire in front of the presidential palace in Senegal today in the latest self-immolation on the African continent. He's being treated at a hospital, and his motive isn't known. The mutiny in Tunisia that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was touched off by a 26-year-old who lit himself on fire, and other self-immolations quickly took place elsewhere in northern Africa and the Middle East.

Senegal is a moderate Muslim nation with one of the most established democracies in the region, but the country is facing its worst power outages in a decade and the cost of living has skyrocketed. President Abdoulaye Wade's attempt to run for a third term, as well as his son’s increasing influence, also has triggered discontent. A US diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks warned that father and son appeared to be "preparing the way for a presidential dynastic succession."

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