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NDMA Data Shows 2, 029 Under 5 Children Displaced In Foni

Persons Internally Displaced by the ongoing MFDC-Senegalese army conflict in Cassamance
(Photo: Mam Demba Bojang)

By Landing Ceesay

The National Disaster Management Agency’s (NDMA) latest infographic showed that 2, 029 children under the age of 5 are currently displaced in Foni due to the MFDC-Senegalese army conflict in Cassamance.

“2, 029 children are under the age of five and currently displaced,” the data said.

The NDMA infographic specified that a total of 9, 973 are currently affected with 5, 626 internally displaced, 2, 029 of which are children under 5 years; 7, 044 students affected; 374 pregnant and lactating women affected, 691 refugees and 3, 656 host families.

Reports stated that on 13th March around 13:45 GMT, the Senegalese launched a military operation in Casamance (Southern Senegalese region) affecting Gambian border communities in the Foni Kansala, Bintang Karanai, Berefet, Jarrol and Bondali districts.

The population displacement is as result of the clash between Senegalese soldiers and the MFDC. While the clash was taking place in Senegal, bullet shells have reportedly landed in the border communities, causing panic and displacement among them with some Senegalese villages in the Casamance also moving into The Gambia.

Prior to this moment, there had been occasional flare-ups and military operations leading to the displacement of populations along the border in both Gambia and Senegal.

On the 24th January 2022, there was a clash over timber smuggling between the two sides and claimed the lives of two Senegalese soldiers with seven others abducted who were later released following negotiations.

The 24th January incident led to the displacement of 163 families comprising 1861 persons residing along the border belt with Casamance.

The Foni comprised five districts sharing a 65km borderline (from Bullock to Kansambou) with Casamance.

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