The Casamance rebellion of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) seems very weaken by the military strikes currently conducted by the Senegalese Army in the district of Niassya for eight consecutive days. As a result, the political wings of the Casamance rebellion are now calling for an end of hostilities after a meeting held on Monday, June 07th, at Mangokouro, a suburb in Ziguinchor.
“We cannot advocate for peace while others continue to wage war. It is not a good thing. I’m not in their head to know what they want. No one can explain at all this war,” laments Edmon Borra, the leader of MFDC’s civilian section of Mangokouro.
The Casamance civilian wing now wants to favor negotiations instead of the use of arms. The rebellion believes that the current Senegalese Army attacks on its combatants’ bases are no security operations but rather war. “Security? Ok, that’s their slogan. But it’s war. If not, why securing to kill people?” Edmond Bora asked.
The veteran MFDC fighter, now an active member of the Casamance rebellion civil wing, accuses the government of Senegal of blocking any negotiation process.
“MFDC is ready and is not blocking anything at all. It is the government that is blocking the peace process. Therefore, if they can, and if they want to, they have to stop their military operations because, for a long time, we have been acting to seek peace,” the former right-hand man of late Abdou Elinkine Diatta argued.
“Today, we have brought together different factions of the MFDC to see the ways and means to consolidate our efforts in the perspective of the negotiations,” Edmond Bora added.
One key aspect of the meeting in Mangakouro is the absence of important rebel factions controlled by the rebellion’s two strongest warlords, Salif Sadio and César Atoute Badiate.
No sign that the Senegalese Army is relenting
The Senegalese Army command in the southern region of Ziguinchor launched a military “Clean-up” operation on May 24, 2021, aimed at removing the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC) rebels from that area and allowing the return of the civilian populations to their abandoned lands and houses for decades, because of the conflict.
The Chronicle reliably learned that attacks by the Senegalese army have intensified in recent days. All over the past seven days, Guinea-Bissau villagers of Coladje, Elia, Arame, and Cassolol, along the border with Casamance, confirmed hearing huge sound blasts of heavy weapons and noise of military jets at night.
On Monday, the Senegalese army continued its heavy artillery bombardments to secure the villages of Badem and Basséré south of Ziguinchor. During the weekend, the Senegalese security forces were in the sectors of Toubakouta and Kouring.
An independent source in Guinea Bissau has also told The Chronicle that the Senegalese army uses mortars, bazookas, and light reconnaissance jets to bomb the MFDC rebel group’s bases.
“The attacks are currently taking place within the territory of Senegal, and there is a confrontation between infantry troops of the Senegalese army and MFDC fighters. That’s why the villagers near the border with Guinea Bissau are running for fear of being hit by a bullet,” said our source.