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.