Senegal's security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse opposition supporters who attempted to gather in the capital Dakar for the first of three days of planned opposition protests over a libel trial of one of its leaders.
Shops and banks closed early on Wednesday as the West African nation braced for fresh protests over a court case that has fuelled tension and violence ahead of presidential elections next year.
Opposition leader Ousmane Sonko is due in court on Thursday for a hearing in a libel case brought by the tourism minister, who alleged that Sonko had accused him of embezzlement without proof.
Sonko's supporters have taken to the streets several times in past weeks to denounce a trial they say is an attempt by President Macky Sall's government to weaken his opponents ahead of the polls. The government denies this.
If found guilty, Sonko, 48, who came third in the 2019 presidential election and has declared he will run in the February 2024 election, could be struck from the voter roll and disqualified as a candidate.