Archived conflict (updated: December 2005)

A peace deal between the government and MFDC rebels was signed at the end of December 2004. The peace process continued as the second round of negotiations, the Foundiouque II talks, began in December 2005. There were no reports of fighting by MFDC factions opposed to the 2004 peace deal.

 
 
 
 
 

Summary:

2005 The peace process continued as the second round of negotiations, the Foundiouque II talks, began in December. There were no reports of fighting by MFDC factions opposed to the 2004 peace deal.

2004 There were few incidents of violence in 2004. A peace deal between the government and MFDC rebels was signed at the end of December. Several factions within the MFDC refused to sign the agreement although the power and influence of these groups was unclear at the end of 2004. The political focus has shifted to the return of many thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Without support, the large influx of IDPs could destabilize the region.

2003 Sporadic, low-intensity fighting continued in the southern region of Casamance between extremists within the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) and government forces, while moderates within the MFDC movement continued to respect the peace agreement forged between them and the government in 2001. An October call for peace from the leaders of MFDC halted most fighting.

2002 Fighting continued in the Casamance region of Senegal, despite a peace agreement forged in 2001 between the government and the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC). In September the government met with more moderate elements of the MFDC to renew peace negotiations.

2001 In March a peace agreement was signed between the government and the MFDC. A hardline faction of the MFDC split from the main group, elected their own leader and refused to abide by the peace agreement. The death toll reached more than 50 by September, mostly civilians ambushed on Senegal’s highways by rebels.

2000 The cease-fire agreed to in December 1999 was violated as the rebels tried to disrupt the presidential elections (in March) and violence has continued since. In April there was an upsurge in rebel activity in Senegal’s southern Casamance region, spilling to villages in the Guinea-Bissau side of the border and Senegal’s forces launched assaults along the border in pursuit of the rebels. The authorities in Guinea-Bissau indicated they were willing to provide support to Senegal to solve the conflict. By the beginning of September, joint initiatives were being put in place by Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to increase border security and stop armed groups from raiding Senegalese villages. At least 50 civilians, rebels and government soldiers were killed.

1999 Sporadic fighting between Senegalese government troops and separatist rebels in the southern Casamance region continued in 1999, often targeting the civilian population. More than 60 people died in the fighting, down from over 250 deaths in 1998.

Type of Conflict:

State formation

Parties to the Conflict:

1) Government:
Led by President Abdoulaye Wade. Upon being elected president in 2001, Wade vowed to resolve the conflict in Casamance within 100 days. Although this has not been the case, his government has been involved in several rounds of negotiations with the rebels. However, these efforts have been criticized by some MFDC leaders.

“‘To this date we do not know of any concrete proposals by [President] Aboulaye Wade for a resolution to the crisis,’ Alexandre Djiba, the MFDC’s spokesman told IRIN. … He [Djiba] charged that the Senegalese Government’s strategy has been to announce negotiations every now and then so as to give the international public opinion the impression that it wants to pursue a negotiated settlement.” [IRIN, March 6, 2003]

” Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade lately has put great effort and personal prestige in finding a peaceful solution to the Casamance conflict, which has lasted for over 20 years.” [Africa Online, January 8, 2003]

“A long-standing opposition figure who created Senegal’s first opposition party – the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) – in 1974, Wade has always been perceived as a mover and shaker by the younger generation of Senegalese.” [Guardian Weekly, 30 March – 5 April 2000]

2) Casamance separatist group:
Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC). The MFDC is split into moderate and extremist factions, the former led by Augustin Diamancoune Senghor and the latter led by Sidi Badji, until his death in May, 2003. While the moderate faction reached a peace agreement with the government in 2001, the extremist faction continue their armed struggle for Casamance independence. There also exist armed groups within the movement who conduct their own operations, further complicating the situation. Salif Sadio, believed to behind an attack on government forces in April of 2004, has emerged as a potential leader of the hard-line faction of the MFDC.

“…Guidel, where the attack took place, is a stronghold of Salif Sadio, a rebel commander who opposes the peace process…The attackers had warned people who were starting to return to villages that had been abandoned with the encouragement of the authorities. The position of this faction is that the war is not yet over…” [IRIN, April 2, 2004]

“The rebel Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) is divided into two factions; a hardline wing which operates in the south of the province, towards the border with Guinea-Bissau, and a moderate northern wing, which holds sway closer to the border with Gambia, which is open to negotiation.” [IRIN, May 8, 2003]

“The MFDC is bitterly divided and the movement’s weak leadership has little control over distant groups who have kept up their military activities carrying out regular road ambushes and kidnappings.” [BBC News, April 30, 2002]

“The leader of separatist rebels in Senegal’s southern Casamance province has announced his resignation. Jean Marie Biagui, who was appointed secretary-general of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance in August, said he was resigning because of a lack of loyalty within the movement. Correspondents say Mr Biagui was never accepted by some factions, who have remained loyal to his predecessor, Father Diamacoune Senghor.” [BBC News, November 6, 2001]

“The MFDC has always been heavily factionalised, and hardline elements have rejected the compromise with the government, continuing to carry out armed attacks and ambushes and provoking strong counter-insurgency measures from the government army.” [ BBC News, August 6, 2001]

Status of Fighting:

2005 There was no fighting reported between MFDC factions and the government. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs (DDR) for former MFDC combatants continued.

“More than 2,000 ex-combatants of the Democratic Forces Movement of Csamance (MFDC) and their families are targeted for the Casamance Emergency Assistance Reconstruction Project (PARC)…The PARC…is also aimed at close to 2,500 internally displaced people and 12,000 refugees.” [Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, December 7, 2005]

2004 Three government soldiers were killed in the most serious incident of 2004 triggering fears that this signaled a revival of the MFDC hard-line faction but this does not appear to have been the case. Border clashes also occurred between the forces of Guineau-Bissau and Casamance separatists believed to be from MFDC.

“Separatist rebels in Senegal’s southern Casamance region killed three soldiers and seriously injured five more when they attacked an army unit carrying out mine clearance operations, a military spokesman said. … Two weeks ago, 60 armed rebels attacked the village of Gouraf, around 10 km from Zinguinchor, where villagers were trying to rebuild damaged buildings so that they could return there to live…No one was injured in that attack, though goods were stolen.” [IRIN, April 2, 2004]

2003 A January government offensive in the province of Casamance, which ended a six month truce, resulted in the deaths of 30 hardline MFDC rebel fighters and four government soldiers. Otherwise, there were very few reports of violence in Senegal.

“A Senegalese soldier has been killed and another wounded in an attack by dissident fighters of a separatist movement in the southern province of Casamance, according to Senegalese state television … A spokesman for the pro-peace faction (of the MFDC), told the private Dakar radio station … that his faction had nothing to do with Wednesday’s attack. He blamed it on ‘bandits trying to sabotage the peace process in Casamance.” [IRIN, May 8, 2003]

“According to the Senegalese army, the offensive was triggered by the death of one government soldier who had stepped on a landmine. … The government offensive had been launched on Monday ‘in response to secessionist rebels’ recent campaigns of placing mines in the area’, Colonel Mokhtar Gueye said in a statement. ‘With the rebels intent on causing damage, the military command had to take steps to guarantee the security of soldiers and to protect civilians,’ the colonel added.” [Africa Online, January 8, 2003]

2002 The government initiated a number of “clean-up” operations in Casamance to identify and neutralize rebels. Reports of the number of casualties are unavailable although thousands of civilians fled volatile areas and sought refuge in The Gambia. Rebels continued to target civilians. It was not always clear if these attacks were motivated by political grievances or if they were random acts of banditry.

“The Senegalese army has ended a “clean-up” campaign it started on 21 June to restore security in Casamance, Southern Senegal, sources said on Tuesday. The military announced on 7 July that it had ceased operations, according to the sources, who added that the situation in Casamance had been calm in the past week. The operation had been launched after a wave of armed attacks and seizures of passenger cars in Casamance. These acts had been blamed on the Mouvement des forces democratiques de Casamance (MFDC) which has been fighting for self-determination for the area since 1982.” [IRIN, July 16, 2002]

“Immigration officials in The Gambia reported that at least 9,000 Senegalese fleeing the fighting entered the country last week. Over 500 arrived in the village of Berending in two days, an official said… The new arrivals, the refugee agency added, came from Casamance after fleeing the area of Diouloulou, where the Government sent police forces as part of a mop-up operation ahead of municipal elections on 12 May… Fleeing refugees spoke of heavy aerial bombardment by Senegalese forces of rebel positions, especially around the village of Diouloulou, where rebels attacked a delegation of ruling party politicians last week, prompting the current army counter-offensive.” [IRIN, May 14, 2002]

“Violence in Casamance tends to be sporadic, with occasional ambushes and fire fights. It is often difficult to differentiate between guerilla actions and generalised banditry. … Five people have been killed in an attack by armed men in Casamance, the southern province of Senegal where rebels have been fighting government troops for 20 years. The incident happened on Monday night, when 200 fighters attacked the coastal resort of Kafountine, overpowered government troops and looted shops, camping grounds, and hotels. All those killed are reported to be Senegalese workers.” [BBC News, March 27, 2002]

2001 Despite the signing of a peace accord between the government and the rebel group, Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces’ (MFDC), clashes continued. A faction of the MFDC opposed to the peace deal split from the main group, elected its own leader, and continued to carry out armed attacks against government forces.

“Fighting between Senegalese troops and the pro-independence Mouvement des forces democratiques de Casamance (MFDC) died down after a weekend battle in a district of the southern Region of Casamance, the government owned daily ‘Le Soleil’ reported. The newspaper reported that two government soldiers were killed and a captured soldier was released later.” [IRIN, June 7, 2001]

“The southern Senegalese Casamance separatist movement says it has replaced its long-time leader after four days of talks in neighbouring Gambia. Opposition to Father Augustine Diamacoune’s leadership reportedly came from younger radicals who on Thursday elected a leader from within their ranks. The Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces’ new secretary-general is Jean-Marie Francois Biagui. The MFDC signed a peace deal agreement with the government of Senegal in March, but hardline elements have rejected the compromise with the government, continuing to carry out armed attacks and ambushes and provoking strong counter-insurgency measures from the government army.” [ BBC, August 10, 2001]

2000 The cease-fire agreed to in December 1999 was violated as the rebels tried to disrupt the presidential elections (in March) and violence has continued since. In April there was an upsurge in rebel activity in Senegal’s southern Casamance region, spilling to villages in the Guinea-Bissau side of the border and Senegal’s forces launched assaults along the border in pursuit of the rebels. On 13 April, Guinea-Bissau issued a formal protest to Senegal, following the bombing by Senegalese forces close to the border resulting in the killing of 5 civilians. Following these clashes, on 25 April the border between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau was closed. However, the authorities in Guinea-Bissau indicated they were willing to provide support to Senegal to solve the conflict. The Senegalese military carried out a series of aerial bombing raids in July, following rebel attacks on military patrols in the province of Casamance. By the beginning of September, joint initiatives were being put in place by Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to increase border security and stop armed groups from raiding Senegalese villages.

[BBC News, 12 April 2000; BBC News, 13 April 2000; BBC News, 18 April 2000; Jane’s Defence Weekly, 26 April 2000; IRIN, 25 April 2000; BBC News, 4 July 2000; BBC News, 13 July 2000; IRIN 7 September 2000]

“A BBC correspondent in Casamance says rebel attacks are taking place throughout the province, while civilians are fleeing their homes. Our correspondent says the attacks appear to be led by a faction of the main rebel group the MFDC opposed to the conciliatory line its leader has taken towards the new President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade.” [BBC News, 19 April 2000]

“There have been reports of more clashes between government troops and separatist rebels in Casamance, southern Senegal, the BBC reported on Thursday. The Senegalese army said that earlier in the week, rebels from the Mouvement des forces democratiques du Casamance (MFDC) had used heavy artillery to attack a military post some 60 km southwest of Ziguinchor, the main town in the area. It said several civilians had been killed, including two Gambian businessmen, according to the BBC.” [IRIN, 5 May 2000]

“The Senegalese army announced on Monday that the 2,400 paratroopers and commandos that were due to leave on Wednesday and be demobilised would now serve in Casamance until December. In all, 4,500 troops are deployed to the south of the country to contain the MFDC’s 18-year bid for independence, AFP said.” [IRIN, 30 May 2000]

“The talks, to take place in the capital Dakar, follow repeated cross-border raids by armed-bandits from Guinea Bissau. The bandits are said to have stolen thousands of heads of cattle, as well as attacking women and setting fire to Senegalese villages. On Wednesday, Senegal announced an increase in the number of troops in the region to safeguard the border.” [BBC News, 8 September 2000]

1999 Fighting between government forces and the MFDC flared periodically in 1999, despite the fact that both parties participated in peace talks at various times throughout the year. After Diouf and Senghor pledged yet again to end the conflict in January, government authorities reportedly killed 22 rebels in renewed fighting in March. Not long after, clashes and a rocket attack in Ziguinchor, Casamance’s regional capital, killed 21 people including civilians, rebels, and soldiers. The MFDC apparently condemned the attack on civilians and soldiers blaming it on “uncontrolled elements” within the independence movement. Further fighting was reported in May and June, when almost 20 people were killed. The government responded by deploying troops to Casamance to “flush out” the rebels. Fighting flared again in December in the village of Bagunda near the border with Guinea-Bissau. Civilians have suffered greatly at the hands of both the government and the MFDC.

“Amnesty International contends that because both sides realise they cannot win the war militarily, they take it out on the civilian population, which has been subjected to arbitrary detention, murder, rape, extortion and intimidation from both sides.” [Bram Posthumus, An End in Sight to Casamance Violence? Searching for Peace in Africa, Utrecht: European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation in cooperation, 1999, p.367]

Number of Deaths:

Total: Approximately 1,200 civilian and military deaths resulting directly from armed conflict since 1982.

“The death toll directly due to the conflict is probably around 1,000, either killed in armed attacks, by landmines or as a result of human rights abuse.” [The Casamance conflict: out of sight, out of mind? Martin Evans, April 2, 2002]

“More than 1,200 people have been killed since the Casamance rebellion began in the early 1980s.” [BBC News, 12 April 2000]

2005 There were no reports of casualties this year.

2004 At least 10 people were killed in 2004.

2003 Between 40 and 50 people, the majority rebel combatants but also several Senegalese soldiers, were killed in the first nine months of 2003, the vast majority of these occurring during the government offensive in January.

“The offensive by the Senegalese army has so far killed around thirty rebels and four government soldiers.” [Africa Online, January 8, 2003]

2002 Media reports suggest between 25 and 50 people – civilians and combatants – died in the first nine months of 2002 as a direct result of the conflict.

“At least five people have been killed in an ambush in the troubled southern Senegalese province of Casamance. The attack was carried out by guerillas from the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), the authorities say.” [BBC News, April 30, 2002]

2001 According to media reports more than 50 people were killed in the first nine months of 2001. The majority of the dead were civilians ambushed on Senegal’s highways.

“Two people were killed and 17 wounded when unidentified gunmen attacked commercial trucks along a highway in Senegal’s troubled area of Casamance, local news organizations reported. This brings to 23 the people killed. It was the third attack near Ziguinchor, the largest city in southern Senegal, since February 16. So far no group has been blamed for the attack. Previous incidents have been attributed to a dissident faction of the MFDC.” [IRIN, March 13, 2001]

“Three people died on Saturday after a group of armed men hijacked an unknown number of cars and robbed passengers along a highway in Casamance, Southern Senegal, AFP reported. The incident occurred in the town of Mamepalago, 55 km north of the main city, Ziguinchor. The latest attack was carried out by presumed members of the MFDC raised to four the number of people killed in Casamance since March 23 when the government and the MFDC signed the second part of a two-tiered peace accord.” [IRIN, April 16, 2001]

2000 At least 50 civilians, rebels and government soldiers were killed.

“A BBC correspondent in the region says more than nineteen people have been killed in the attacks, which follow an upsurge in rebel activity.” [BBC News, 18 April 2000]

“At least seven people have been killed in renewed fighting between the military and separatist rebels in Casamance, southern Senegal, news organizations reported.” [IRIN, 10 July 2000]

1999 More than 60 civilians, rebels and government soldiers were killed.

[Sources: BBC News, 19 June 1999; Jane’s Defence Weekly, 9 June 1999; Bram Posthumus, An End in Sight to Casamance Violence? Searching for Peace in Africa, Utrecht: European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation in cooperation, 1999]

1998 More than 250 civilian and military battle-related deaths.

[Source: SIPRI Yearbook 1999, p.32]

Political Developments:

2005 The second round of peace talks, the Foundiougne II talks, began in late December as the peace process continued. Various armed MFDC factions remained opposed to the peace process.

“Several members of the Democratic Forces Movement of Casamance (MFDC) expressed their support for peace talks with the government scheduled for December 27-29 at Foundiougne…” [Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, December 20, 2005]

“Despite the recent peace accords signed by the MFDC with the Wade government, Sadio [leader of the armed wing of the MFDC] used the 20-minute interview to call for a continuation of the 22-year old independence struggle…According to Sadio, a December 2004 peace deal between the MFDC and the Senegalese government is null and void because it was not signed by the ‘real’ leaders of the MFDC.” [IRINnews.org, October 17, 2005]

2004 Despite their divisions MFDC leaders called for peace at their annual conference in October 2004 as the political focus shifted to supporting the thousands of IDPs returning to the region. A peace deal was signed between the MFDC and government at the end of 2004. The prospects for a lasting peace remained unclear as groups of unknown power and influence within the MFDC refused to acknowledge the peace agreement.

“Up to 15,000 displaced people are expected to return to their home villages in Senegal’s southern Casamance province this year as a low-level insurgency that has gone on for two decades peters out, but little is being done by the international community to assist them, Refugees International said on Friday.” [IRIN, January 9, 2004]

2003 Although the MFDC rebel group remained divided, there were several indications that the factions were seeking agreement on ending the military campaign against the Senegalese Government. The death of Sidi Badji, a hardline rebel leader, was viewed as an opportunity to narrow the gap between moderate and hardline rebels. However, by the end of 2003 the group remained factionalized.

“Separatist rebels in Senegal’s southern province of Casamance announced on Monday the death of Sidi Badji, a hardline leader who had held out against any compromise with the government on Dakar. … The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has confirmed the death of Badji at the age of about 83. Despite his advancing years, Badji had remained … the head of the MFDC’s military wing and commander-in-chief of its guerilla army.” [IRIN, May 26, 2003]

“Wednesday’s attack came as Senegal’s Interior Minister Gen Mamadou Niang held talks with Guinea-Bissau’s President Kumba Yala in Bissau about plans for Bissau to host a meeting of the various separatist factions in Casamance with Dakar’s blessing. The aim is to unite the separatists around a common platform for a negotiated autonomy settlement.” [IRIN, May 8, 2003]

“[One of the factions of ] [t]he separatist Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) said it accepted the offer of dialogue made by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in his end-of-year message to the nation. … Goudiaby [spokesman for the external branch of the MFDC] … added that the Senegalese Government does not have to wait until MFDC is reunified before it begins to initiate peace talks.” [PanAfrican News Agency, January 12, 2003]

2002 Government officials and more moderate MFDC representatives met in September to map out steps toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“Efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Casamance conflict in Senegal moved a step forward on Wednesday when two government officials met officials of the armed Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de Casamance (MFDC)… Sources in Casamance told IRIN on Thursday that the meeting was an “ice-breaker” between the two parties, and could be followed by another in a few weeks’ time.” [IRIN, September 12, 2002]

“President Abdoulaye Wade, who came to power two years ago, has pledged to make a solution to the Casamance conflict a priority. Last year his government signed a peace agreement with the MFDC. But there has been little follow-up, with the separatist movement going through a series of splits and leadership changes.” [BBC News, March 27, 2002]

2001 In March the government and rebel forces signed a peace agreement to end the fighting. The rebel group, MFDC, held a three day meeting in August to inform its membership of efforts to restore peace, and human rights organizations, the international community, and the governments of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia were also invited. The factional nature of the MFDC made it difficult to reach a consensus however, and hard liners vowed to continue fighting.

“Fresh efforts are being made to end the long-running conflict in the south of Senegal. A separatist movement, the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces, the MFDC, is holding a special congress in the Gambian capital, Banjul, to try to heal internal divisions and put up a united front. The MFDC signed a peace agreement with the government of Senegal in March, but a low-intensity conflict has continued in Casamance. Much of the violence has been blamed on separatist hardliners, who have accused the MFDC leadership of betraying the separatist cause. The movements leader, Father Augustin Diamacoune-Senghor, now in his 70’s, has distanced himself from the armed struggle and the demand for a separate state. But he has not been able to unite his movement behind the peace deal. The MFDC has always been heavily factionalised, and hardline elements have rejected the compromise with the government, continuing to carry out armed attacks and ambushes and provoking strong counter-insurgency measures from the government army.” [BBC, August 6, 2001]

2000 In January, the Senegalese government and the separatist movement in Casamance province opened a new round of talks in Dakar. Under the sponsorship of Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, the negotiations focused on a mechanism to monitor agreements reached by the two sides in December 1999. Monthly meetings intended to usher in full peace talks between the two sides came to a halt for March presidential elections. These were won by Abdoulaye Wade, putting an end to 40 years of socialist rule. By mid-August President Wade said he wanted to engage in direct talks with MFDC to end the armed infiltration along the Senegalese border.

[BBC News, 25 January 2000; IRIN 25 January 2000; Guardian Weekly, 30 March – 5 April 2000; IRIN, 22 August 2000; BBC News, 8 September 2000; IRIN, 15 September]

1999 President Diouf and MFDC leader Senghor met in January and promised to end the fighting and engage in peace talks. In June, various rebel factions within the independence movement met in Gambia to formulate a common position for peace talks with the Senegalese government, brokered by Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. The rebel movement issued a declaration which did not include a demand for full independence. Although the Senegalese government is willing to participate in peace negotiations with the MFDC, it generally refuses to discuss demands for independence.

Background:

Casamance is a southern part of Senegal largely separated from the rest of the country. There has been a general feeling amongst the Casamançais that they have been neglected by the national government by political under-representation and economic underdevelopment. The Diola people, the largest group in an ethnically-mixed region, have traditionally rejected central authority from the Senegalese government. The MFDC, a Diola-dominated group, was established in 1947, thirteen years before Senegal became a nation state, and immediately declared Casamance independent. Calls for the territory=s independence occasionally sparked violent confrontation with police.

Tension between the government and Casamance separatists intensified greatly in 1982 during a demonstration organized by the MFDC in which protesters and police clashed. Violent demonstrations, government repression, and other human rights violations continued throughout the 1980s. In 1990, the MFDC officially declared that armed struggle would be the only way to achieve independence. Since then, the MFDC has engaged in guerrilla action against government police and security forces to achieve independence for Casamance, an unacceptable option for the government. Fighting in 1993 claimed over 250 lives and prompted the two sides to call a cease-fire which lasted two years. Tensions rose again in 1998 as civilians increasingly became targets of violence initiated by both sides. The MFDC fragmented into moderate and radical elements in the late 1990s and then-MFCD leader Senghor continued to experience difficulty in dealing with some of the hard line factions and divisions within the independence movement. Amnesty International accused both the government and the MFDC of gross human rights violations.

Both parties have frequently engaged in peace talks over the years, usually initiated by the MFDC, and committed themselves to numerous cease-fires. These have usually ended in failure and led to renewed fighting. Prospects for resolving the conflict are stymied by the government=s view of the conflict as an issue of Alaw and order@ and the rebels refusal to compromise on independence. President Abdoulaye Wade, who came to power in 2000, replacing former President Abdou Diouf, vowed to resolve the Casamance conflict. A peace agreement reached between the government and moderate elements of the MFDC in March 2001 bore little fruit as the government proceeded to commit mass “clean-up” operations and rebels continued to target civilians and government security forces. At the request of the MFDC, President Wade created a negotiation team that met with moderate MFDC leaders in September 2002. This led to an October 2003 declaration by MFDC leaders to end fighting and call for peace.

[Source: Bram Posthumus., An End in Sight to Casamance Violence? Searching for Peace in Africa, Utrecht: European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation in cooperation, 1999, p.364-371

Arms Sources:

The US, France and other NATO countries as well as Switzerland, Brazil and South Korea recently supplied weapons to the Senegalese Government. The rebels allegedly have received arms from Libya via Mauritania and The Gambia as well as from other conflicts in the region. Furthermore, the rebels allegedly finance their arms purchases by growing and selling marijuana.

[Sources: The Military Balance 1999/2000 to 2004/2005; SIPRI Yearbook 2005; Korean Information Service, July 2, 2003; BBC News, October 15, 2002; IISS; World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1998, US State Department; The Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfer, http://www.nisat.org/ , accessed on December 23, 2005]

“It gave the conflict a regional dimension which from time to time came back to claim centre stage, with accusations levelled against Mauritania, the Gambia – both countries allegedly transship Libyan arms to the MFDC – and military action in Guinea-Bissau.” [Bram Posthumus. An End in Sight to Casamance Violence? Searching for Peace in Africa, Utrecht: European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation in cooperation, 1999, p.368]

“Arms flows originate in civil war areas in the vicinity of Senegal – mainly in Liberia and Sierra Leone – and pass through the neighbouring countries into the Casamance conflict.” [Ibid., p.369]

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