By Sarjo Brito
A landmine explosion has reportedly killed five young boys including a 16-year-old Gambian and left six others in life threatening situations. The devastating incident happened in Kafenkeh, a border settlement around Kanilai.
According to our source Kemo Colley, who identified himself as a brother of the 16 year-old, the incident occurred on Friday, October 22nd just after Friday prayers. Colley explained that the victims were returning from the mosque when one of them unknowingly stepped on the mine.
Elements of the separatist rebel group in Casamance (the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance MFDC), are known to have settled around some of these villages. The rebel group has been accused of burying these explosives to serve as a deterrent and shield from military attacks. Villages like Kafenkeh, are unfortunately inhabited by civilian populations who continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing conflict between the Government of Senegal and the (MFDC).
The armed struggle in Casamance was ignited in March 1982. The conflict which has been described by analysts as neither war nor peace has claimed thousands of lives in the region and displacing many others since its beginning. In February 2021, Senegalese forces launched a ground and aerial assault, taking back control of some of the rebel held villages bordering Guinea-Bissau.