Guinea: Settling Old Scores In Senegal

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March 21, 2006: The fighting along the Senegalese border involves Senegalese rebels, led by  Salif Dialo who had previously, in 1999, helped overthrow current Guinea-Bissau president Joao Bernardo Vieira  (who became president again last year). The Dialo crew have bases on the Senegal side of the border, and accuse the  Guinea-Bissau troops of entering Senegal to attack their camps.  Guinea-Bissau says they attacked the Dialo men when they crossed the border to meet with weapons dealers in  Sao Domingos.

 

The Senegalese separatists are demanding independence for the Casamance region which, is, literally, separated from Senegal by Gambia. The rebellion has been low key, and going on for two decades. This sort of situation is typical throughout Africa, where groups of armed men maintain control, or at least freedom, in an area, often on a border. The central government does not consider it worth the trouble and expense to deal with the situation.

 

March 20, 2006: Soldiers continued attacking Senegalese rebels on the Senegalese border, near the town of Sao Domingos. So far, five soldiers have been killed, and perhaps as many rebels.  The rebels appear to have retreated back into Sebegal. Some 5,000 civilians fled the fighting.

 

March 14, 2006: Near Sao Domingos, on the Senegalese border, a bus hits a land mine, killing twelve civilians. At the same time, Guinea-Bissau troops moved into the area and began fighting with Senegalese rebels. The Senegalese had been planting mines in the area, and generally demonstrating their power.

 

 

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