News Column

Casamance Women Peace Movement On the Move

January 20, 2014

Amie Sillah

This is a follow up to the Resolution reached during the Peace Conference in Ziguinchor from 10 - 14 December, 2013 by delegates from The Gambia , Guinea Bissau , Cote d'Ivoire , Burundi and all the Regions in Senegal who attended the Peace Conference organized by PAS and Casamance Women Peace Platform sponsored by World Bank and E.U. The Conference agreed that The Gambia and Guinea Bissau have a role to play to end the Conflict as frontline states who receive refugees and also can be used as hideout for the combatants. It was agreed that as part of their advocacy, some Casamance women peace activists would visit the two countries to lobby the authorities to be part of the peace process. A four person delegation headed by Madam Cisse Seynabou Maal visited the Vice President Madam Isatou Njie Saidy on Thursday, 9th January, 2014 and explained their peace mission and how The Gambia can be of assistance to end the Conflict in Casamance and their desire to have a clearance to pass their caravan via The Gambia to attend a Casamance Peace Conference slated from 23rd to 25th January 2014 in Senegal's capital, Dakar . They were assisted by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) to visit the concern authorities. The Casamance peace envoys met their counterpart, the Gender Action Team (GAT) at the ACDHRS Headquarters on the same day and exchanged views of how to collaborate and be of assistance to ensure the Conflict ends and peace, development and prosperity return to Casamance. Some areas of collaboration were explored such as exchange visits, networking and lobbying, sensitization of the people in the frontline states, the sub region, Africa and the World, to ensure the visibility of women in the peace process and to give information, to sensitize and ensure all stakeholders are on board. The peace delegation thanked the Gambian authorities, their counterparts in GAT, and the African Centre for making their mission successful. It is also learnt that Yousou Ndure is planning to hold a peace concert in the Gambia in support of the Women Peace Movement in the Casamance in the not too distant future. Position Casamance is situated in the South of Senegal,with The Gambia situated between the North and South of Senegal, Guinea Bissau at the South of Casamancewhile the Atlantic is situated at the West.It covers an areaof 28, 422 Km (14.45%) of Senegal and its population is approximately 1, 748, 639 (13.98%) of Senegal's population. The Conflict Since December 18, 1984 , the armed wing ' Atika ' (Arrow in Djola) of MFDC wants Independence. Various cease fires did not hold for long. Now 3 rival groups are positioned in the South and North of Casamance. The last 31 years of Conflict has altered the socio-economic and political fabric and has caused havoc to the population and the abandonment of hundreds of villages, displacement of thousands of people to The Gambia , Guinea Bissau , and the Regional Capital of Casamance. There are 794 survivors of land mines and 250, 000 exposed to danger, trauma and stress. Survivors of affected zones cannot access thousands of hectares of farmland, thus adding to food insecurity, poverty and misery. < WEST AFRICAN MONETARY ZONE (WAMZ) MEETINGS KICKS OFF Global Hands launch a book entitled "THE GRAVEYARD CANNOT PRAY" by Prof. B. G. Jallow >

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Source: AllAfrica

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