Conflict Summary

The Casamance is a region of southern Senegal that is largely separated from the rest of the country by the Gambia. The majority of Casamance’s population is ethnically distinct from that of northern Senegal, an issue that has led to separatist sentiments. The Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC) has waged a campaign of armed resistance against the Senegalese armed forces since 1990 in an effort to obtain self-rule for the region. The intensity of the violence has been low, but has affected the civilian population, as the Guinea-Bissau-based MFDC has sought to undermine government support. On 30 December 2004, a peace accord was signed between the government and the MFDC in an effort to end West Africa's longest civil war, but rival factions sporadically threaten stability.