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The Casamance region of Senegal is marked in red on this Senegal Map

The Casamance War in Senegal (1982-2014)

The long war in the Casamance region of Senegal pitted the Jolo people of the Casamance region against the government of Senegal. The rebels, who call themselves the Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC), sought independence for their region. The Jolo are primarily Christian, while the rest of Senegal is primarily Muslim. Despite a cease-fire arranged in 2004, violence has continued on and off ever since. In 2010, an arms shipment from Iran, bound for the Casamance rebels, was intercepted in Nigeria. In December, 2011, rebels attacked the Senegalese Army, resulting in 12 deaths, ten of whom were Senagalese soldiers.

Following the attack, Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade ordered his troops to pursue the rebels, even if that meant entering into neighboring Gambia. President Wade, among others, believes Gambia is a long-time supporter of the MFDC rebels. In May of 2014, the MFDC declared a unilateral cease-fire.



Casamance War Began: Decemeber 26, 1982

Casamance War Ended: Cease Fire in 2004: resumed in December, 2010, and again in December, 2011. The MFDC declared a cease-fire on May 1, 2014.

Casamance War Was Fought Between: Senegal Government vs. Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC) rebels

Casamance War Also Involved: Guinea-Bissau is believed to have supported the MFDC in the early 1990s. In 2010, a shipment of arms from Iran was seized in Nigeria on the way to the Casamance rebels.

Casamance War Resulted In: Ongoing conflict, producing casualties and civilian refugees. Land mines are an ongoing hazard.

Casamance War Casualties: Approximately 5,000 dead due to the Casamance War, mostly civilians.



Resources and Links on the Casamance War in Senegal:

Casamance 'MFDC rebels' kill Senegal soldiers--BBC, Dec. 21, 2011

Amnesty International: Senegal--Report on human rights abuses related to the Casamance Rebellion.

United Nations --Report on refugees in Senegal.

Guinea-Bissau/Senegal War, Civil War and the Casamance Question--Report from the United Nations. This report shows the development of the rebel movement and the political, ethnic, economic and religious reasons for the insurgency.

Casamance: no peace after thirty years of war


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