In brief

Senegalese government, MFDC reaffirm commitment to find solution to Casamance conflict

Talks take place with mediation of Community of Sant’Egidio

Macky Sall.
Macky Sall. Author: OECD @ Twitter
A delegation sent by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and another one sent by one the leaders of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), Salif Sadio, have reaffirmed the commitment of both sides to “find a solution to the Casamance conflict through negotiations.” This is stated in a statement that has been released by the Community of Sant’Egidio, which has been mediating in talks between the two parts since 2012.

The armed conflict erupted in the early 1980’s between the MFDC and the Senegalese armed forces. The MFDC, on the basis of a popular feeling of marginalization of Casamance within Senegal, called for the independence of the territory.

The conflict has killed around 5,000. The MFDC has found itself gradually divided into several factions —of which Sadio’s is one of the main ones— and has lost strength, territorial control and popular support. Although the intensity of the fighting has also declined over time, some areas of the territory remain in a state of neither war nor peace.

The Senegalese government has been promising economic development in Casamance and a decentralization plan for Senegal as a whole, but has always rejected independence demands.