Senegal: Promotion Mission, 1996


This mission aimed to help finding an amicable resolution to the grave and massive violations of human rights at Kaguitt, in Casamance, following a clash between the Senegalese army and the rebels of the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC), brought to the attention of the Commission by the NGO "Rencontre Africaine Pour la Défense des droits de l'Homme" (RADDHO). 

Scheduled 1-7 June 1996 and conducted by Professor Isaac Nguema, Chairman of the African Commission, the mission also comprised Dr. Vera Valentina de Melo Duarte MartinsS and Mr. Marcel Buzingo, member and legal adviser to the Commission, respectively.


The Commission recommends:
1. The Government should:

  • consider lifting the measures which confine Father Diamacoune to his residence, to permit him to move freely and involve himself more easily in the negotiations and the search for peace.
  • free all political prisoners detained for reasons connected to the conflict
  • assist all displaced persons and refugees, encouraging them to return to their homes by guaranteeing their security
  • fight impunity by prosecuting those implicated in torture and summary executions

2. The separatists should:

  • ensure that their leaders based in Europe and abroad return to Senegal where guarantees of their safety will be given
  • accept that future negotiations will take place on African soil
  • work for coherence in statement of their positions

3. Both parties should:

  • do their best to identify and isolate those who oppose a return to peace, who have made the conflict the foundation of their business

The Commission recommends that each of the parties put all in place to realise the following objectives:

  • To resolve the problem on the ground
  • To post in Casamance so far as possible, officials native to the region
  • To elaborate a vast programme of investment with the object of further developing the region
  • To establish a system of social integration, to help unemployed youth, and encompassing demobilised rebels.
  • To create a joint committee of follow-up to supervise the realisation of these objectives

Before concluding this report, it is important to note the quality of facilities placed at the disposal of the mission by the Senegalese authorities.
The Commission maintains its expression of profound gratitude with the hope that the sincerity, the loyalty, and the transparency which the authorities demonstrated throughout the mission will contribute to re-establish peace, justice and well - being of the populations of Senegal in general and of the people of Casamance in particular.