The Gambia is facing the arrival of refugees following the military operation launched on Sunday by the Senegalese army in northern Casamance, on the border between the two countries. This operation against the MFDC uprising comes after a clash that occurred on January 24 between a Senegalese branch of the ECOWAS mission in Gambia and MFDC fighters. A new wave of tensions, while the conflict has been going on for forty years.
as reported from Dakar, Charlotte Idrac
“It was to wait,” said a source familiar with the matter, after the clash that had cost four Senegalese soldiers their lives. Seven others had been captured by the MFDC before being released on February 14 to reporters. These events were perceived by the army as “a humiliation” continues our interlocutor, for whom this military operation is a way to “wash away the insult”.
In its press release, the General Staff clearly states its main goal: “to dismantle the bases of the MFDC faction Salif Sadio, which is located along the northern border”. However, Salif Sadio had said he was ready for negotiations with Dakar from 2012. But the peace process is blocked and the military option has been favored: as early as 2021, the army had carried out operations to fine-tune MFDC bases, this time in southern Casamance. on the border with Guinea-Bissau.
Banjul prepares to welcome refugees As a result of this new operation, people have fled the area and crossed the border into southern Gambia. No reliable report on their numbers at this stage. Authorities in Banjul have announced a $ 5 million envelope – about 85,000 euros – to help refugees and displaced people.
The Christian community of Sant’Egidio, long involved in mediation in Casamance, expresses “its deep concern at the armed confrontation”. She calls for “cessation of hostilities to resume the negotiation process”.
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