Gambia authorities say an estimated 6,000 people have taken refuge in the country after fleeing last week’s violence between the army and rebels in Casamance, in the south of neighboring Senegal.
On March 13, the Senegalese army announced that it had launched an operation against rebels in Casamance, a region separated from northern Senegal by the Gambia.
The army had indicated that "their main objective is to dismantle the bases" of rebel military leader Salif Sadio, located along the northern border with the Gambia.
A document from the Gambian National Crisis Management Agency sighted by AFP however indicated that the number of people fleeing the violence since March 13 now stands at 6350, including 4508 displaced people, many of them in the Foni Kansala area.
Foni Kansala, located in the Gambian territory, borders Casamance and is close to the area where fighting is taking place between the Senegalese army and rebels of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), which has been fighting for independence in that region since 1982.
Recall that Senegalese President Macky Sall has made "definitive peace" in Casamance the priority of his second term.