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Dakar paralyzed by a transport strike

The Senegalese capital Dakar was paralyzed on Wednesday by a two-day transport strike to protest in particular against “the harassment” of the police and clandestine transport, according to AFP journalists.

Localities in the provinces were also affected, according to the local press, by this strike launched by 14 organizations of the Unitary Framework of Senegalese Road Transport Unions (Custrs).

In Dakar, only a few buses of the public transport company “Dakar Dem Dikk” were in circulation. Taxis and coaches and buses providing service between the center and the suburbs were at a standstill, according to AFP journalists and witnesses.

Many riders waited for alternative means of transportation while others, pupils and workers, walked to school or to their places of work.

The transport unions have filed demands in 11 points to demand the end “of harassment by the police, customs, gendarmerie and the Water and Forests service, arrests of drivers” and protest against illegal drivers “who compete with legal carriers, Gora Khouma, one of the leaders of the Unitary Framework, told reporters.

“We did not start this strike to tire the population but to solve our problems. For years, we have signed agreements with the government which are not respected,” he said.

The government, which met Wednesday in the Council of Ministers, had not yet reacted.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport said it had invited the transport unions to a meeting on November 15, which they did not attend, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The press release “calls on all road transport operators to consult in a participatory and inclusive dynamic in the interest of the economic and social development” of Senegal.

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