A personal interest

I don’t usually cover conflicts in Africa because I prefer to cover positive stories wherever possible. But the conflict in the Casamance region of southern Senegal has a personal interest to me.  My children were evacuated from there way back in 1990 when the area around their school became unsafe and the next village was shelled. Local people were not so lucky and a fertile area which used to be the ‘bread basket’ of Senegal and a popular tourist destination is sown with landmines and the killing and maiming carries on.

Fisherman in Casamance, Senegal

[Photo credit: cigronetpetit]

Buildings in Casamance Senegal

[Photo credit: cfarivar]


Rice fields Casamance Senegal

[Photo credit: frostis]

Background to the conflict

The following papers give a background to this conflict.

The Casamance Conflict 1982-1999 (pdf)

African Research Group
The Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) founded in 1947 as a political party was launched as an explicitly separatist movement in 1982. Associated with the Diola people who straddle the border with Guinea Bissau, the course of the MFDC’s armed struggle against the Government of Senegal is summarised in this paper, as is the failure of successive ceasefire agreements between them.

The Casamance conflict: out of sight, out of mind?

The separatist rebellion in the Casamance in southern Senegal is West Africa’s longest-running civil conflict. Yet, compared with wars elsewhere in West Africa, it is virtually unknown in the outside world. This article describes the humanitarian impact of one of the world’s forgotten wars.

The Crisis in Casamance, Southern Senegal: A Constructive Conflict Resolution Approach

Chronologically, this paper will proceed in part one with McGowan’s theoretical analysis of conflicts in West Africa. Part two gives a historical background of the region that laid the foundation for the causes of the conflict. In part three the causes and escalation of the conflict are discussed. Part four gives an analytical exposition of the major actors and their respective roles in the conflict. This part will also include the international and regional response to the crisis. In part five, the theoretical implications of the conflict are discussed. This is followed by part six, where I conclude.

Suggested Books

Senegal : Casamance youth refuse to farm Senegal : Masquerades of Modernity – Power and Secrecy in Casamance Congo Basin Gorillas, environmental crime and conflict Rwanda : Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding Manual Alternative Basic Education in post-conflict African countries

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