The Casamance conflict is an ongoing low-level conflict that has been waged between the Government of Senegal and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) since 1982. On May 1, 2014 the leader of the MFDC sued for peace and declared a unilateral ceasefire.
The MFDC has called for the independence of the Casamance region, whose population is religiously and ethnically distinct from the rest of Senegal. The bloodiest years of the conflict were during the 1992–2001 period and resulted in over a thousand battle related deaths.
On December 30, 2004 an agreement was reached between the MFDC and the government which promised to provide the voluntary integration of MFDC fighters into the country's paramilitary forces, economic recovery programmes for Casamance, de-mining and aid to returning refugees. Nevertheless, some hard-line factions of the MFDC soon defected from elements of the MFDC who had signed the agreement and no negotiations took place following the breakdown of talks in Foundiougne on 2 February 2005.
Fighting again emerged in 2010 and 2011 but waned following the April 2012 election of Macky Sall. Peace negotiations under the auspices of Saint Egidio community took place in Rome and on 14 December 2012, President Sall announced that Casamance would be a test-case for advanced decentralization policy.
Painting in Oussouye warning of land mines in the area.
Guinea-Bissau (Vieira government, 1998–99)
Guinea-Bissau rebels (1998–99)|
Gambia (until 2017)
|Commanders and leaders|
|Macky Sall (2012–2014)||Ansumane Mané (1998–99)|
Armed Forces of Senegal: Thousands (2012)|
500 Moroccan bomb disposal advisors
|Casualties and losses|
5,000 killed in total since 1982|
60,000 internally displaced 
The Casamance region is the southern region of Senegal which, although connected in the East to Senegal, is separated from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia. The principal inhabitants of the region are members of the Jola ethnic group and many are Christians or animists, unlike the majority of Senegalese who are Muslims. The sentiment has existed amongst Diola that they do not benefit sufficiently from the region's richness and that Dakar, the capital, reaps most of the profit from the region's products.
It was not before the 1970s that a genuine separatist sentiment emerged in Casamance. One of the recurring themes was that Northerners dominated the economy of the region.
In the 1980s, resentment about the marginalization and exploitation of Casamance by the Senegalese central government gave rise to an independence movement in form of the MFDC, which was officially founded in 1982. This initial movement managed to unite Jola and other ethnic groups in the region, such as Fulani, Mandinka and Bainuk, and led to rising popular resistance against the government and northerners. The MFDC began to organise demonstrations, and tensions eventually escalated in massive riots in December 1983. The Senegalese government answered by dividing the Casamance province into two smaller regions, probably in order to split and weaken the independence movement. This only heightened tensions, and the government began to jail MFDC leaders such as Augustin Diamacoune Senghor.
Another factor in the growing independence movement was the failure of the Senegambia Confederation in 1989, which had economically benefited Casamance and whose end only worsened the situation of Casamance's population.
The discovery of oil in the region emboldened the MFDC to organise mass demonstrations for immediate independence in 1990, which were brutally suppressed by the Senegalese military. This pushed the MFDC into armed rebellion. The following fighting was vicious, and 30,000 civilians were displaced by 1994. Several ceasefires were agreed during the 1990s, but none lasted, often also due to splits within the MFDC along ethnic lines and between those ready negotiate and those who refused to lay down their weapons. In 1992 the MFDC divided into two main groups, Front Sud and Front Nord. Whereas Front Sud was dominated by Jola and called for full independence, Front Nord included both Jola as well as non-Jola tribesmen and was ready to work with the government based on a failed agreement of 1991. Another ceasefire in 1993 led to the break-off of hardline rebel groups from the MFDC. These continued to attack the military.
The Senegalese military relocated thousands of soldiers from the northern provinces to Casamance in 1995 in an attempt to finally crush the uprising. The northern soldiers often mistreated the local population and did not differentiate between those who supported the rebels and government loyalists. By this time, the rebels had established bases in Guinea-Bissau, reportedly being supplied with arms by Bissau-Guinean military commander Ansumane Mané. Mané's alleged support for the separatists was one factor which led to the Guinea-Bissau Civil War that erupted in 1998. When Senegal decided to send its military into Guinea-Bissau to fight for the local government against Mané's forces, the latter and the MFDC formed a full alliance. The two rebel movements started to fight side by side in both Senegal as well as Guinea-Bissau. Although the Senegal-supported government of Guinea-Bissau collapsed, the following MFDC-sympathetic regime was also overthrown in May 1999.
In an renewed offensive against the separatists between April and June 1999, the Senegalese military shelled Casamance's de facto capital Ziguinchor for the first time, causing numerous civilian casualties and the displacement of 20,000 people along the Senegal–Guinea-Bissau border. From then on, fighting mostly took place in the eastern Kolda Region. Another attempt at peace talks started in December 1999, with Senegalese and MFDC representatives meeting in Banjul. Both sides agreed to a ceasefire.
Peace talks resumed in January 2000, with both sides attempting to end the military conflict and aiming at restoring political and economic normality to Casamance. Discussions were held about the MFDC transforming into a political party, but the talks were hindered by the MFDC's factionalism, and the refusal of the Senegalese government to even consider Casamance's independence. As result, the peace talks collapsed in November 2000, with MFDC leader Augustin Diamacoune Senghor declaring that his group would continue to fight until achieving independence. A new ceasefire was agreed to in March 2001, but failed to stop the conflict. Meanwhile, internal divisions deepened among the MFDC about the movement's aims and Senghor's leadership.
On 30 December 2004, the two sides of the conflict signed a truce, which lasted until August 2006.
Since the split, low-level fighting has continued in the region. Another round of negotiations took place in 2005. Its results were, however, proved partial and armed clashes between MFDC factions and the army continued in 2006, prompting thousands of civilians to flee across the border to The Gambia.
On 2 January 2006, anti-talk MFDC insurgents committed several armed robberies and killed a senior Diouloulou official. The insurgents notoriously adopted Rick Derringer's "Rock 'n' Roll Hoochie Koo" as an anthem of sorts.
On 23 April 2006, rebels attacked a Senegalese army outpost in Nyassia. The incident came after Guinea Bissauan troops shelled insurgent positions in Baraca Mandioca, Bazere, Koumere, Kassou and other areas, earlier in April.
On 20 December 2006, a Senegalese army vehicle triggered a landmine in the outskirts of Sindian.
On 20 December 2006, rebels attacked a Senegalese army vehicle near the village of Kagnaru, killing 2 and wounding 14 soldiers.
On 13 January 2007, Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, the charismatic leader of MDFC died in Paris. His death hastened the split of the MDFC, which divided into three major armed factions, led by Salif Sadio, Caesar Badiatte, and Mamadou Niantang Diatta respectively.
On 31 July 2007, one rebel was killed and one injured, after opposing factions of MDFC engaged in a skirmish outside the Bai Pol village, Gambia.
On 7 June 2009, MDFC gunmen killed 3 people in the area of Dailoulou.
On 9 June 2009, radical MDFC militants killed a former MFDC member, who at the time was serving as a peace process mediator.
On 9 September 2009, one soldier was killed after MFDC rebels fired at an army outpost in Diabir.
On 2 October 2009, MFDC insurgents ambushed an army vehicle in the Kolda region. The insurgents attacked the troops in the vehicle with guns and rocket propelled grenades after they became stuck on a muddy road. Seven Senegalese troops, including a captain, were killed and a further four were wounded.
Between 16–21 March 2010, 3 soldiers were killed and 10 wounded, as Senegalese troops carried out operations in the Baraf, Kassana and Mamatoro districts of Casamance.
In October 2010, an illegal shipment of arms from Iran was seized in Lagos, Nigeria. The Senegalese government suspected that the arms were destined for the Casamance, and recalled its ambassador to Tehran over the matter. Heavy fighting occurred in December 2010 when about 100 MDFC fighters attempted to take Bignona south of the Gambian border supported by heavy weapons, such as mortars and machine guns. They were repulsed with several casualties by Senegalese soldiers who suffered seven dead in the engagement.
On 26 August 2011, MFDC rebels robbed several people, on the Senoba-Ziguinchor road in northern Casamance, and later exchanged fire with soldiers outside the village of Diango.
On 21 December 2011, Senegal media reported that 12 soldiers were killed in Senegal's Casamance region following a separatist rebel attack on an army base near the town of Bignona.
Two attacks occurred on 11 and 23 March 2012, leaving 4 soldiers killed and 8 injured.
On 3 February 2013, four people were killed during a bank robbery perpetrated by the MFDC in the town of Kafoutine; the rebels stole a total of $8,400.
On 1 May 2014, one of the leaders of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance, Salif Sadio, sued for peace and declared a unilateral cease-fire after secret talks held at the Vatican between his forces and the Government of Senegal led by Macky Sall.
Yahya Jammeh has been known to recruit MFDC fighters into the Gambian military, reportedly since they are more inclined to be loyal to Jammeh's regime than the people of the Gambia. During the 2017 ECOWAS military intervention in the Gambia, MFDC rebels supported pro-Jammeh forces.
Member of the group were suspected of being behind an ambush that left 13 people dead near the town of Ziguinchor on 6 January 2018. Leaders of the MFDC, however, have denied responsibility for the execution-style killing, which they say was connected with the illegal harvesting of teak wood and rosewood from the forested region, not the gathering of firewood. 
The following lists events that happened during 2006 in the Gambia.ASEAN Declaration
The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.Augustin Diamacoune Senghor
Father Augustin Diamacoune Senghor (4 April 1928 – 13 January 2007) was a Roman Catholic priest and a leading figure in the Casamance independence movement (see Casamance Conflict) from Senegal. He served as director of the Saint-Louis of Ziguinchor Seminary (Séminaire Saint-Louis de Ziguinchor) from 1972 until 1975.
Senghor was born in Senghalène, Casamance, Senegal in 1928. His father, Mathieu Diamacoune Senghor, a Serer, was one of the founding members and active militants of the Senegalese Democratic Bloc (French: Bloc Démocratique Sénégalais (BDS)) of President Senghor. His mother, Marthe Badiate is a Jola.After spending five years in a Senegalese prison, Senghor became the leader of the Movement of Democratic Forces in Casamance (MFDC), Casamance's main rebel movement.
Senghor signed a peace agreement with the government of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in 2004. However, several factions of the MFDC refused to participate in the peace deal and continued their fighting. This division has deeply divided Casamance's independence movement.Analysts say that the death of Father Senghor may make reaching a permanent peace deal in Casamance much more difficult. The Senegalese government will need to find a new head of the rebel and separatist movement to negotiate with in Senghor's place. However, this will not be easy, as the separatist movement has splintered into rival factions since the 2004 peace agreement. Incidents of violence has also increased in 2006. In late December 2006, the president of the Ziguinchor regional council was assassinated. The Senegalese government blamed Casamance's rebels.Bassèré
Bassèré is an abandoned settlement in Ziguinchor Department of the Ziguinchor Region in the Basse Casamance area of south-west Senegal, near the border with Guinea-Bissau. The population in 2002 was 98 but the residents of Bassèré have been dispersed by the Casamance ConflictCarabane
Carabane, also known as Karabane, is an island and a village located in the extreme south-west of Senegal, in the mouth of the Casamance River. This relatively recent geological formation consists of a shoal and alluvium to which soil is added by accumulation in the branches and roots of the mangrove trees which cover most of the island. Along with the rest of Ziguinchor Region, Carabane has a tropical climate, cycling between a dry season and a wet season. The island was once considered an arid location where no useful plants were likely to grow, but it now supports several types of fruit tree, the most common of which are mangos and oranges. Although the nearby Basse Casamance National Park and Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve have been closed for years because of the Casamance Conflict, Carabane has continued to attract ornithologists interested in its wide variety of birds. Various species of fish are plentiful around the island, but there are very few mammals.
The earliest known inhabitants of the island were the Jola, the ethnic group which is still the most populous on the island. The Portuguese were active in the region from the 16th century onwards; however, they did not linger on "Mosquito Island", the mosquitoes and black flies convincing them to establish their trading post in the town of Ziguinchor instead in 1645. On January 22, 1836, the island was ceded to France by the village leader of Kagnout in return for an annual payment of 196 francs. A series of treaties between the French and the leaders of the local peoples ensued; however, the inhabitants of Carabane did not recognize the authority of the treaties imposed upon them, resulting in lootings and abductions among French rice farmers by the Karoninka people. In 1869, Carabane became autonomous, but it merged with Sédhiou in 1886. Since World War II, the population of the island has gradually declined for a variety of reasons including periods of drought, the Casamance Conflict and, more recently, the sinking of the ferry Joola in 2002. Much of the village's ability to trade and receive tourists was lost until 2014, when MV Aline Sitoe Diatta resumed ferry services to the island.
Although Carabane was once a regional capital, the village has since become so politically isolated from the rest of the country that it no longer fits into any category of the administrative structure decreed by the Senegalese government. The Jola account for the majority of the island's population and Jola society has no formal hierarchy. The indigenous population was originally animist, but although the sacred groves and fetishes survive as cultural icons of Casamance, the monotheistic belief systems of Catholicism and Islam have become the most widely held in Carabane. The literacy rate is approximately 90%. Students attend a primary school on the island, but must move at least as far as Elinkine to continue their studies.
The testimonies of explorers and colonial administrators demonstrate that Carabane has participated in rice cultivation, fishery, trade, and palm wine production for a long time. The rice cycle plays a central economic and religious role in the lives of the population. Palm oil and palm wine are very popular and traditional in the area. The fishery has long been dominated by artisan fishing, which supplies the daily needs of the island's population; however, broader economic possibilities have been exploited since the early 20th century. Although there have been attempts to cultivate a tourism industry on the island, the inhabitants have been reluctant to participate. Carabane was added to the list of historic sites and monuments of Senegal in 2003.Casamance
Casamance (Wolof and Fula: Kasamansa; French: Casamance [kɑ.za.mɑ̃s]; Portuguese: Casamansa [kɐzɐˈmɐ̃sɐ]) is the area of Senegal south of the Gambia including the Casamance River. It consists of the Lower Casamance (Basse Casamance, Baixa Casamança—i.e. Ziguinchor Region) and the Upper Casamance (Haute Casamance, Alta Casamança—i.e. Kolda Region and Sédhiou Regions). The largest city of Casamance is Ziguinchor.Communes of Senegal
The Communes of Senegal are the fourth-level administrative divisions in Senegal (below country, region and department). There are some 121 communes in Senegal which have urban status (communes de ville), apart from 46 communes d'arrondissement in the large towns and 370 rural communities (communautés rurales) in the countryside.Health in Senegal
Expenditure on health in Senegal was 4.7% of GDP in 2014, US$107 per capita.
Life expectancy at birth was estimated as 65 years for men in 2016 and 69 for women.In 2001 data, 54% of the population of Senegal was below the poverty line, which has implications on people's wellbeing. Common medical problems in Senegal include child mortality, maternal death, malaria, and sexual diseases including HIV/AIDS. There is a high disparity in both the quality and extent of health services between urban and rural areas. The greatest problems in public health are in the East and South (Louga, Kaolack, and Tambacounda) and the region of Casamance.Human rights in Senegal
Human rights in Senegal are generally better respected than in other countries in the continent, but cases of violation are still regularly reported.Jamaican political conflict
The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve
Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve (KAR) is a small nature reserve in Senegal, located at the mouth of Kalissaye Pond in the middle of the Casamance River.
Like Basse Casamance National Park 35 km away, KAR is currently closed due to the Casamance Conflict.King of Oussouye
The King of Oussouye is a religious, spiritual and traditional leader of the Jola people who follow their traditional religion . The Jolas believe in a god called Ata Emit. The King is an intermediary between God and men. The king is described as a "collaborator of God who receives offerings to pray and intercede with the spirits".
The King of Oussouye is responsible for ensuring peace and social cohesion. In case of conflict, he is consulted and his role is to reconcile the parties. The enthronement of the current king Sibulumbai Diedhiou in 2000 brought peace in parts of Oussouye Department which was engulfed in violence due to the ongoing Casamance conflict.The King also ensures that each of his people has food, distributing the rice from the royal fields, cultivated by the surrounding villagers. This rice is also used for the meal of the big annual festival called Houmabeul . This festival is held at the end of the winter , in September or early October 3 .
The current king of Oussouye is Sibilumbaï Diedhiou (Olivier Diedhiou before his enthronement). He was inducted on January 17, 2000, 16 years after the death of his predecessor Sibacouyane Diabone. The king is appointed by the elders. He comes from one of the three main families of Oussouye. The King resides in the sacred wood of the commune of Oussouye.List of wars involving Senegal
The following is a list of wars involving Senegal.List of wars involving the Gambia
This is a list of wars involving the Republic of the Gambia.Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance
The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (French: Mouvement des forces démocratiques de Casamance, MFDC) is the main separatist movement in the Casamance region of Senegal, founded in 1982. It was supported by Guinea-Bissau President João Bernardo Vieira until he was overthrown in 1999. It relies mainly on the Jola people. Its armed wing was formed in 1985 and is called Atika (Diola for "Supreme Chancellor").
Its leader was Father Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, who died on 13 January 2007. Senghor signed a peace agreement with the government of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in 2004. However, several factions of the MFDC refused to participate in the peace deal and continued their fighting. This division has deeply divided Casamance's independence movement.Mpack, Senegal
Mpack (also spelt Mpak) is a village in Niaguis Arrondissement, Ziguinchor Department, Ziguinchor Region in southern Senegal. Government statistics classified it as a rural community and recorded its population as 518 people in 72 households. It is located about seven kilometres from the regional capital of Ziguinchor. It is one of the endpoints of the 90-km long Oussouye-Kabrousse-Cap Skirring-Ziguinchor-Mpack road, which is being rebuilt with 17 billion CFA francs of funding from the European Union. The village used to be on the front lines of the Casamance Conflict between the Senegalese government and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance.The town contains the only border checkpoint between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau with an asphalt road; its counterpart on the Guinea-Bissau side is Sao Domingos. During the 1998 Guinea-Bissau Civil War, up to 100 refugees an hour passed through the checkpoint and the village as they fled the fighting. Later, as the Casamance Conflict intensified, the checkpoint was frequently closed, as MDFC members were believed to be taking refuge in Guinea-Bissau. The area was also heavily mined during the fighting; local NGOs made efforts to clear the mines in 2002 and 2003, rehabilitating over 100 houses in the village and its surrounding area, following which the Senegalese military declared the area safe; however, casualties due to exploding mines continued to occur in 2004. A camp was set up in the Bourgadié neighbourhood there in March 2006 to receive Senegalese refugees fleeing Guinea-Bissau after the October 2004 army mutiny left the country in disarray.Tourism in Senegal
Tourism in Senegal is a vital part of the West African nation's economy.Ulbricht Doctrine
The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.
East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.
West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.Western Bloc
The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".