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December 9 2012

Hostages freed in Casamance thanks to Community of Sant'Egidio

A group of Senegalese soldiers held prisoner by the armed MFDC movement was freed in Casamance thanks to the efforts of the Community of Sant’Egidio

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A conflict has been raging for more than thirty years between the Senegalese government and the Movement for the Democratic Forces (MFD) of Casamance, leading to guerrilla actions demanding the region’s independence. The Community of Sant’Egidio is the official mediator between the Senegalese government and the MFDC. The first round of peace negotiations was held in Rome, at the Community of Sant’Egidio, on October 14, 2012.

In recent years a number of Senegalese soldiers was captured by the MFDC. The Community of Sant’Egidio asked the head of the MFDC, Salif Sadiò, to grant their liberation as a humanitarian gesture and as an act aimed at promoting a favorable climate for negotiations.

Salif Sadiò decided to heed the request and today, December 9, 2012, in Casamance territory, he delivered the prisoners to a delegation of the Community of Sant’Egidio made up of Don Angelo Romano and Mauro Garofalo in the presence of representatives of the International Red Cross.

The delegation of the Community of Sant’Egidio, with the helpful cooperation and support of the Gambian authorities and the International Red Cross, accompanied the prisoners into Gambian territory and turned them over to the Chargé d’Affaires of the Senegalese Republic, S.E. Diallo, at the Haut-Commissariat of Banjul, who will take care of the necessary steps for their return home. 

The Community if Sant’Egidio expresses heartfelt appreciation of the humanitarian gesture, considered to be of fundamental importance for a peaceful resolution of the Casamancese crisis.

For more information:

don Angelo Romano 220 7514980

Mauro Garofalo 220 7488002

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