Cease Fire: General Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Senegal and MFDC
Clause one: The Purpose of the Present Agreement
2. The MFDC solemnly decides to definitively give up armed combat and the use of violence as a means to conduct the political combat which it wants to conduct.
According to a news report in April 2005, the level of violence was greatly reduced by the peace process.1 Most of the Casamance region was calm, with only isolated incidents of violence connected to criminals and rebels.2
In 2006, fighting increased in the Casamance, spanning the Guinea-Bissau and Gambia border regions.3 Guinea-Bissau’s forces joined with Senegalese armed forces to fight the rebels. Fighting also appeared to take place between rebel factions.4 At least two splinter groups from the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC)—that is, the Movement for the Liberation of the People of the Casamance (MLPC) and the Revolutionary Front for Social Equilibrium in Senegal (FPRES)—were involved in the fighting.5
- 3. “Fighting Continues Along Border with Guinea-Bissau,” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, March 17, 2006.
- 4. “Fighting resumes in Senegal; rebel leader issues ultimatum to factional rival,” BBC Monitoring Africa: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, May 9, 2006.
- 5. “Senegal - Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - 2006,” U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, accessed March 6, 2007, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78754.htm.
Instances of fighting were reported in 2008.8 The MLPC (a splinter group of the MFDC) and the MFDC itself were reported to be fighting each other.9 The MFDC also appeared to be fighting with government troops as well. The program coordinator of ANCRAC commented (on the demining effort) that “[w]e need to first find a peace agreement between the MFDC and the government of Senegal.10
- 8. "Republic of Senegal CSI," State Department Press Release, July 8, 2008.
- 9. “2008 Human Rights Report: Senegal,” U.S. Department of State, accessed February 25, 2009, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119021.htm.
- 10. “Lack of Peace Accord Hampers Demining in Casamance,” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, May 9, 2008.
Violence persisted in 2009 between the MFDC and the government.11 “[T]he region remains plagued by occasional violent crime, political killings, and bouts of fighting between the army and the splintered MFDC,” according to a UN news report.12 Fighting appeared to intensify later in 2009, killing at least 15 Senegalese soldiers.13
- 11. “Senegal: Violence Flares Up in Casamance Again,” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, June 15, 2009.
- 12. “Closer to war than to peace?” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (Nairobi), September 18, 2009.
- 13. “Senegal’s PM, chief negotiator air different views on Casamance issue,” Xinhua General News Service, March 29, 2010.
Fighting between the Senegalese army and separatists occurred in early 2010 due to military operations that were intended to remove rebel bases.14The same month, a MFDC leader was quoted asking the government for “sincere and all inclusive negotiations.” The Senegalese Prime Minister responded that the government was ready to receive MFDC leaders to start negotiations.15 At that point, no meeting between the government and the MFDC had taken place since 1 January 2005.16 A rebel leader responded, stating that the MFDC would welcome negotiations on neutral territory, in another country. The Prime Minister stated he wanted talks to take place in Senegal.17 There were no further reports in the press on negotiations.
- 14. “Senegal army clashes with separatist rebels,” IoL News, March 22, 2010, http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/senegal-army-clashes-with-separatist-re....
- 15. “Senegal’s PM, chief negotiator air different views on Casamance issue,” Xinhua General News Service, March 29, 2010.
- 16. “Senegal PM urges Casamance rebels to talk peace,” Agence France Presse, April 23, 2010.
- 17. “Rebel faction ready for talks on Senegal’s Casamance,” Agence France Presse, April 27, 2010.
- 18. “Senegal’s Casamance rebels enter Gambia,” Xinhua General News Service, October 6, 2010.
- 19. “Rebels Attack Southern Senegal Village,” States News Service, December 28, 2010.
A news report from 2011 stated that despite a number of cease fires, renewed violence “over the past year” had occurred.20 Negotiations were hampered by the MFDC splitting into various factions.21 Levels of violence in the Casamance increased in 2011, and an estimated 83 people were killed as a result of the Casamance conflict.22 According to a news report, negotiations between the government and the various political and military factions of the MFDC were deadlocked.23
- 20. “Senegal Opposition Searching for Consensus Candidate,” States News Service, May 17, 2011.
- 21. “Ex-soldiers march for peace in Senegal’s Casamance,” Agence France Presse, February 1, 2011.
- 22. “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 – Senegal,” U.S. Department of State, May 24, 2012, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011humanrightsreport/index.htm?dli....
- 23. “Demined land handed back to locals in Senegal’s Casamance,” Agence France Presse, March 12, 2011.
Violence persisted into 2012.24 According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), clashes continued between government forces and the MFDC.25 Press characterized the conflict as low-level.26
- 24. “2 soldiers killed in Senegal’s restive South,” International News, March 12, 2012.
- 25. “The ICRC regional delegation in Dakar - Facts and Figures,” International Committee of the Red Cross, September 21, 2012.
- 26. “An Aging President Overstays His Welcome and Damages His Country’s Reputation,” Africa.com Blog, January 30, 2012.
Ceasefire violation was not reported in 2013. After Macky Sall won presidency in 2012, the government started to negotiate with the MFDC. Sall’s government was serious about finding a solution in Casamance. One of the obstacles however was the split in the MFDC. The MFDC splintered into four different groups and the strongest group was led by César Atoute Badiate who had 80% of combatants estimated between 1200 and 2000. Nevertheless, ceasefire held in 2013.27
- 27. “Opening the Door to Peace in Casamance,” Africa in Fact. December 1, 2013.
No violence reported in 2014. In May, one of the leaders of MFDC, Salif Sadio, declared a unilateral ceasefire. The ceasefire was announced after a government and the MFDC delegation met in Rome under the facilitation of the Sant'Egidio Catholic Community. 28
- 28. “Leaders of Senegal’s Casamance separatists impose cease-fire on troops, BBC Monitoring Africa, May 1, 2014.