Gambia: Seven Senegalese soldiers released by Casamance rebels

Rebels in the southern Senegalese town of Casamance freed seven Senegalese soldiers on Monday across the border from Gambia where they had been holding captive since a deadly clash on January 24.
The seven Senegalese soldiers, members of the West African military mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG), were taken by rebels to a location near the Gambian village of Bajagar, where representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Gambian army, and an Italian Catholic mediator organization, Sant’Egidio, were waiting.
The Senegalese soldiers, apparently in good health, left in Red Cross vehicles.
They were captured in a January 24 clash with men from the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MDFC). Four Senegalese soldiers were killed, according to the Senegalese army.
The clash was one of the most serious events in the Casamance conflict in recent years.
Casamance has been the scene of one of the oldest conflicts in Africa since independence fighters went underground after a march was suppressed in December 1982.
After claiming thousands of lives and devastating the economy, the conflict has persisted at low intensity. Senegal is working to normalize the situation and has begun resettling displaced persons.

About Geraldine Boechat 2142 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia