News24

Senegal's Ndour injured during rally

2012-02-22 09:25

Dakar - Senegalese music icon and opposition activist Youssou Ndour was injured in the leg on Tuesday after being hit by a projectile at the scene of a banned rally in Dakar, his entourage told AFP.

"Youssou Ndour was injured in the left leg, he has been seen by a doctor, but he doesn't want to make a big issue out of it and we won't be giving any more comment," said Charles Faye, spokesperson for Ndour's Fekke ma ci boole (I am involved) movement.

Faye did not say what type of projectile had hit Ndour saying only that he was injured "in the heat of the action" as riot police dispersed the crowd gathered for the rally in Independence Square, which had been made off-limits.

Last month the Grammy-winning artist appealed against a decision by the country's top court which rejected his application to run for president this month.

The council approved the candidacy of 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a third term, which the opposition says is illegal, sparking fierce protests in Dakar.

One of Africa's most recognised artists, Ndour shocked the music world on January 03 when he announced he was quitting music to try and unseat the octogenarian president of whom he has become increasingly critical.

"Get out old man"

The dispute over Wade's candidacy has placed one of Africa's most stable democracies on edge, and the capital was rocked by violent riots on Friday night which left one policeman dead.

Tuesday's incident happened as Ndour was perched on a car which anti-riot police approached. Stones were hurled from the crowd towards the police who responded with tear gas.

At one stage there was a standoff between police with a group of protesters headed by former prime minister Idrissa Seck, who is contesting Sunday's vote, and Ndour.

Hundreds of supporters gathered around the two opposition leaders' vehicles, chanting in Wolof, "Gorgui, na dem!" (Get out, old man), in reference to Wade who, at 85, is Africa's second oldest head of state.

Ndour swiftly left the area after he was hurt.

Probably best known in the West for his "7 Seconds" hit collaboration with Neneh Cherry, Ndour has also collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and others.