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What is the scope of the peace agreement signed in Bissau between Dakar and the MFDC’s Southern Front?

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Senegal signed a peace agreement in Bissau on Thursday August 4 with rebels from Casamance under the aegis of the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, also President of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS). They made a commitment to lay down their arms and to work for the definitive return of peace to this region. Casamance is the scene of one of the oldest active African rebellions.

With our correspondent in Bissau, Allen Yero Embalo

For Senegal, Admiral Farba Sarr initialed the document. On the independence side, César Atoute Badiate, commander of the Southern Front, and Lansana Fabouré of the Provisional Committee of Political and Fighting Wings of the MFDC.

The document entitled “Agreement to lay down arms” remains confidential for the time being, because discussions must continue with other factions of the movement.

By signing the agreement, the rebels pledged to lay down their arms and work for the definitive return of peace to this southern region of Senegal. Its application will go through the identification and census of combatants and their leaders, under the supervision of Guinea-Bissau, from October 1, 2022.

For President Embaló, who presided over the ceremony, a page of history has just been turned. Guinea-Bissau will be the guarantor party and must be involved in the effective application of the agreement.


The Senegalese authorities have assured that all the conditions will be created to ensure the implementation of this agreement. But the Northern Front, the hard wing of the movement led by Salif Sadio, does not feel concerned. In this case, can peace be achieved without this faction, considered the most radical of the independence movement?

The rebel leader has disappeared from radar since the outbreak of a major offensive by the Senegalese army last March against his bases near the Gambian border. However, according to a source familiar with the matter, behind-the-scenes negotiations are underway to get dissidents from his faction to join the peace process.

For several observers, the Bissau agreements are an important step in the peace process, but the most important thing is yet to come, that of the recovery of arms and ammunition.

The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has been waging a low-intensity conflict in the southern region of Senegal since 1982. A conflict that has caused several thousand deaths and displaced people.

Update on rebel groups in Senegal

For the researcher Jean-Claude Marut, specialist in this conflict, one cannot really speak of a peace agreement, nor even of a ceasefire. He believes that this rather resembles a surrender of one of the main components of the rebellion, in this case the main armed component in southern Casamance “.


To my knowledge, this is neither a peace agreement nor even a ceasefire. It looks more like a surrender of one of the main components of the rebellion, in this case the main armed component in southern Casamance. I think we still have to put the importance of the event into perspective, even if it is important, if only symbolically…

Jean-Claude Marut: “To speak of a peace agreement seems to me a bit exaggerated…”

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