Popular Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks in protest against his detention, has been taken into intensive care, according to his allies.

“Mr Sonko was the victim of an illness that occurred last night,” said Ousseynou Ly, who is a member of Mr Sonko’s Pastef party that was forced to close by Senegal’s authorities.

A medical source at Hospital Principal in the capital, Dakar, confirmed to the BBC that he had been moved into the intensive care unit.

Pastef says the authorities were “responsible” for Mr Sonko’s condition, after they charged and detained him for insurrection and conspiracy against the state, among other crimes. There has been no statement from the authorities on Mr Sonko’s condition.

He plans to run for president in February next year, but has been engaged in a bitter power struggle with the authorities since 2021 when he was placed under investigation in a moral corruption case.

“From the state of Senegal, we do not ask many things, except for the rights and freedom of Ousmane Sonko,” said Habib Sy, president of the opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi.

In June, Mr Sonko was sentenced in absentia to two months in prison – which he said was politically motivated.

That triggered angry clashes by supporters that left 24 people dead, according to Amnesty International.

The next month he was arrested, and earlier this week he was charged with fomenting insurrection.

Source: BBC