In Casamance, a violent Senegalese army offensive but ignored

After several days of shelling, the Senegalese army brought down Casamance independence rebels from their bases. The war, which has claimed thousands of lives since 1982, has reached a rare intensity. However, it seems passed over in silence, reports the Senegalese press.

Since January 26, intense bombardments have resounded, day and night, in the extreme south of Senegal. Yet a leaden silence surrounds “the discrete war of the army in Casamance ”, declares in a the Senegalese daily l’As.

In the Casamance region, the army has just relaunched operations against the MDFC, the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance, which has been fighting for its independence for forty years. She managed to dislodge separatists from their bases on Wednesday February 3, which fell under Senegalese fire after intense shelling. “The rebel bases called 2, 9 and Sikoun fell the day before yesterday into the hands of the Senegalese Army ” report it Daily South.

Planes, helicopters, but also heavy weapons fire, great means were used. The Casamance rebels were forced to abandon their bases and flee to Guinea-Bissau.

The Senegalese army has decided to redouble the intensity of its offensive, in the name of “securing” civilians. Casamance is a hub of drug trafficking, of which the rebels of the MDFC. The army said it wanted to create conditions conducive to the return of local populations, forced to flee the region: “The Senegalese army is carrying out a vast search operation to promote the return of the exiles ” precise Senegal7.

The results ofNeither war nor peace ”

But these operations also aim to restore national sovereignty in this part of the country which becomes the scene of regular clashes:

Almost forty years of neither war nor peace, the consequences are visible everywhere. This rebellion, which began in 1983, is the oldest low-intensity conflict in Africa ”

This silent war shows as much silence regarding the human toll of the latest clashes. A real “mysteryraised in one, by the Daily South. The intensity of the bombardments raised fears of a massacre. Many corpses have already been reported by sources from the Senegalese site, Seneplus.

If the outcome of the last offensives consecrates the strike force of the national army, it could not sign its final victory. In this conflict that has lasted since 1982, the dismantled Casamance armed bands have shown their capacity for regeneration, explains the Senegalese site. The movement of “armed groups favors a return, a few years later or even a few weeks after an official departure from the Army ”

Pauline Le Troquier

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