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Country Risk

Threats to mineral sands project by Senegalese militant group mainly intended as leverage in ongoing peace talks

05 October 2017

Event

Plans to start a mineral sands project in Niafarang, in Senegal’s Casamance province, have been condemned by the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance: MFDC).

The organisation’s spokesperson, Oumar Ampoi Bodian, said on 29 September that its political and armed wings considered the granting of a licence by Senegal to Australian firm Astron a “declaration of war”. In July, leading MFDC commander Salif Sadio said the proposed project was a violation of a ceasefire deal reached in 2014. The MFDC has accused the government of a lack of transparency in the operating licence, but also contends that revenue raised from natural resources should be entirely set aside for the southern province, which has become relatively impoverished compared to the rest of Senegal since the separatist movement took up arms in 1992.

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