Early this week, the Senegalese military in Casamance destroyed two forward rebel positions of the “Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance” (MFDC) in the district of Bignona, southern Senegal. Senegalese military sources told The Chronicle that the security operation, crowned with the takeover of the MFDC rebel position, began on Tuesday 20th April 2021. Although evidence of rebel casualties exists, the exact number of killed combatants remains a mystery.
“As I speak to you, we continue to secure the areas we took over after the fighting. I can assure you that the rebels suffered many casualties even though I cannot tell you for the moment how many of them died,” our source told The Chronicle.
On Sunday, The Fatu Network reported the death of a native of Pirang, one Abdoulie Njie said to have been killed at a rebel base in Casamance, during the Senegalese military raid in the MFDC bases of the Narang Forest in Casamance.
According to our sources, a Senegalese army column raided the area of Kataba 1 and the village of Mongone (commune of Djignaky) which hosted a checkpoint of Atika, the armed wing of the MFDC. The position was also the access to the famous rebel base of “Zone des Palmiers” (Palm Tree area). After hours of heavy artillery bombardment, the Senegalese infantry took control of the rebel positions in Mongone and their base of Balonguine. The army further destroyed the MFDC checkpoints of Boussonor and Ballandine.
“Our intelligence clearly established that the rebels held these two checkpoints to ransom the civilian populations. Trucks, motorcycles and even pedestrians passing through the area had to pay money to the rebels. We decided to destroy these two advance bases they use as checkpoints,” our Senegalese military source told the Chronicle.
The Senegalese army also burnt several Indian hemp farms of the rebels and seized a Gambian truck used in timber trafficking between The Narang Forests and The Gambia.
This operation the latest of the ongoing Senegalese military strategy in Casamance plagued by an armed rebellion led by the MFDC for nearly 40 years to demand the independence of this natural region in southern Senegal.
On January 9, the Senegalese army announced the complete recovery of the last four historic bases of the MFDC rebels, located on the “southern front”, on the border with Guinea-Bissau, after ten days of military intervention.
“The first historical bases of the MFDC, namely of Bamoune-Bilass, Boussoloum, Badiong and Sikoune, were neutralized and taken over by the army,” said Colonel Souleymane Kandé, the Senegalese Army Commander of military zone number 5 of Ziguinchor.