Gambia: Over 6,000 Displaced After Senegal Separatist Fighting Flare-Up
More than six thousand people have fled their homes in the Gambia and Senegal following clashes between Senegalese soldiers and separatists near the Gambian border earlier this month, Gambia's government said Tuesday. Senegalese military launched an operation on March 13 against rebels fighting for independence in
the West African country's southern Casamance region, which borders Gambia. Fighting pushed 691 people in Casamance to cross over and then seek refuge in the Gambia, a tiny nation of around 2 million inhabitants almost entirely surrounded by Senegal, said its National Disaster Management Agency in an assessment of the
aftermath. A further 5,626 people were displaced within the Gambia itself after Senegalese bullets landed in border villages. Households hosting the affected are in need of humanitarian assistance, it added. Formed in the 1982, Casamance's separatist movement has been largely dormant since a ceasefire in 2014. But it has
continued to finance itself through timber trafficking between Senegal and Gambia and launches occasional attacks. Two Senegalese soldiers were killed when fighting last flared up in January this year.