Supporters of Senegal’s opposition leader Ousmane Sonko have reportedly surrounded his home in the southern city of Ziguinchor to block his imminent arrest.
Mr Sonko was due to present himself to the criminal court on Monday ahead of his trial on Tuesday over alleged rape and death threats against a beauty salon employee in 2021.
Mr Sonko and his allies deny the charges and say they are a ploy to bar him from contesting the 2024 presidential election.
There have been intense battles as police attempt to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters in front of Mr Sonko’s home, local media report.
Young people reportedly began assembling outside his home last week in “a patriotic vigil”, according to Press Afrik website.
Mr Sonko has said that he would defy court summonses in protest against the justice system.
He was handed a six-month suspended sentence on 8 May for defaming Tourism Minister Mame Mbaye Niang in a review of the initial two-month term.