SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 01, 2023

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar

Region & Country:Western Africa | Senegal

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 1, 2023, rioting protesters severely damaged buildings and archives at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) campus following the conviction and sentencing of Ousmane Sonko, a politician and member of the opposition party in Senegal.

Protesters damaged several buildings and set fire to vital archives containing student and staff documents. University officials said the Faculty of Medicine and CESTI, the journalism school, were both severely affected.

On June 1, university authorities closed the campus for safety concerns “until further notice.” The university still remained closed four months later.

UPDATE: The UCAD academic council permitted in-person courses to restart on February 26, 2024. As of reporting, student accommodation and social facilities remain closed.

Scholars at Risk is concerned with the intentional destruction of university facilities. Such acts erode the right to education, and diminish everyone’s access to a safe, free and open university space. State and de facto authorities should take all reasonable measures to prevent and respond to such incidents, including ensuring campus security and conducting prompt and thorough investigations, as appropriate.