Senegal’s army has captured three rebel bases in the southern Casamance region with support from neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, after fighting flared up in a long-dormant independence conflict.

The conflict in Casamance, which is separated from the rest of Senegal by The Gambia, is one of Africa’s oldest and has claimed thousands of lives since it first broke out in 1982.

The region had returned to an uneasy calm in recent years until the army launched a major new offensive on January 26, the rebels accusing the government of “restarting the war”.

Senegalese army officers said following years of “neither war nor peace”, the operation was launched to secure the region after “abuses” committed by the rebels against civilians.


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