Ziguinchor is the capital of the Ziguinchor Region, the chief town of the Casamance area of Senegal, lying at the mouth of the Casamance River. It has a population of over 230,000, it is the second largest city of Senegal, but separated from the north of the country by The Gambia. The city has a tropical savanna climate, with an average annual accumulated rainfall of 1547mm; the first European settlement in the area was founded by the Portuguese in 1645. According to tradition, Ziguinchor's name and meaning comes from the time when Portuguese traders and explorers came to the region to form a trading post, derives from Portuguese Cheguei e choram, "I came and they cry"; the local people, seeing the Europeans, began thinking they were to be enslaved. The Portuguese objective was to form a friendship alliance with the local king; the Portuguese objective was trade with the kingdom of Casamanse, a loyal friend, described by chroniclers as the friendly kingship towards the Portuguese along the Guinean coast.
The king started to live in European manner, with table and western clothing and, in the court, there were several Portuguese merchants. One of the commodities for trade were slaves, Ziguinchor became a slave port during much of the Portuguese rule; the spot was not chosen at random. While a Jola village predated the town, it was situated to trade with the Jola kingdom of Kasso, which dates back to the Mali Empire, when Mandinke people moved into the area from the south and east. Following the end of the slave trade, Portuguese commerce stultified, the town was handed over to France on 22 April 1888, in a deal brokered amongst the colonial powers at the Berlin conference of 1886. Under the French, Ziguinchor became a major trade port due to the intensive groundnut cultivation the colonial government encouraged in the interior. By 1900, the area was converted to Christianity, although significant Syncretist and Muslim communities flourish. Rice growing, the traditional crop of the region, was hurt by the push to cultivate groundnuts, extensive forest areas were cleared.
The French government imported rice across West Africa from the intensive farming they encouraged in French Indochina, shrinking the market for Casamance's main produce. After independence, the city saw its economic growth slow, in part due to the War of Independence in neighboring Guinea-Bissau. Portuguese military crossed into the area at least once, pursuing PAIG rebels, cannon fire could be heard in the city for much of the war. During this period Ziguinchor became a main post for both the Senegalese Army and French forces, guarding the frontier; as the capital of Casamance, Ziguinchor has been at the center of the three decade long conflict with Dakar, that has flared into open civil war on more than one occasion. With a population with a majority of Diola and Christian, the effects of a large migration of Wolof Muslims fleeing drought in the north during the 1970s caused tensions to flare. A 1983 demonstration against price rises in Ziguinchor Market was put down violently by Senegalese forces, an insurgency by the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance followed wrecking the economy of the region.
The 2004 peace accords, signed in Ziguinchor, were hoped to be the end of the violence, but in 2006, sporadic fighting by an MFDC split and laying of land mines again erupted in rural areas nearby. Ziguinchor remains economically dependent on its role as a cargo port, transport hub and ferry terminal; the "Nationale 4" highway crosses the Casamance River just east of the city, linking the region with Bignona about 25 km to the north, the rest of Senegal. A vibrant tourist destination, the beaches of nearby Cap Skirring were discovered by foreign tourists in the 1960s, the location was built up to become one of the first Club Med resorts. Ziguinchor region is known for growing great quantities of rice, mangoes, cashews, tropical fruits and vegetables and prawns, much of which are processed locally and exported from the city, its port, its airport, it is home to a large peanut oil factory. The MV Joola, which sank in 2002, was sailing from Ziguinchor to Dakar; the loss of the ferry, cut the rest of the country.
The new ferry, which began regular runs in 2007, is named for local anti-colonial martyr Aline Sitoe Diatta, promises a boost to the local economy. The city has Ziguinchor Airport. A number of buildings in the town have classified by government decree as historic, including the cathedral of Saint-Antoine de Padoue, the Grand Mosque of Santhiaba, the cemetery and several government buildings, like the Ziguinchor Regional Council. Ziguinchor is a melting pot of all the ethnic groups co-existing in Senegal: Mandinka, Wolof, Fula/Halpulaar, Manjack, Serer, Bainounck and Creole. Jola have been the majority of the population in the region since at least 1500, culturally share much with the people of Guinea-Bissau. One of three dialects of Guinea-Bissau Creole, Cacheu–Ziguinchor, is centered around the city. Resistant to first Islam and Christianity, many Jola retain a degree of animist practices, while Basse Casamance is the only majority Catholic area in Senegal. Ziguinchor is the birthplace of some famous Senegalese writers and filmmakers and sportsmen (Jules Francois Bocande, Bassirou NDiaye, Lansana Coly, Basile de Carvalho In the decades following independence, Zigu
Mauritania–Senegal Border War
The Mauritania–Senegal Border War was a conflict fought between the West African countries of Mauritania and Senegal during 1989–1991. The conflict began around disputes over the two countries' River Senegal border and grazing rights, resulted in the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries for several years, the creation of thousands of refugees from both sides, as well as having a significant impact on domestic Senegalese politics. Mauritania's south is populated by the Fula/Toucouleur and Soninké. Senegal, meanwhile, is dominated by the Wolof; the Senegal River basin between Mauritania and Senegal has for centuries been inhabited by both black populations, such as the Fula/Toucouleur, Wolof and Soninké, by Arabs and Berber peoples. Periods of drought throughout the 1980s increased tensions over available arable land, with the basin becoming more important because of development of the basin by the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal, which constructed dams, such as the one at Djama, that altered the balance between herders and farmers by opening new parts of the valley to irrigation.
Mauritania's attempts at land reform in 1983 strengthened the role of the state while undermining traditional agriculture, making more acute the problem of many farmers on both sides of the border. Both Mauritania and Senegal are former French colonies. Senegal, in comparison, remained attached to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, resulting in divergent foreign policies in the two countries; these factors led to a deterioration in relations between Mauritania and Senegal, with both countries hardening their stances against each other with each further incident. This created an explosive situation, stirred up by both countries' domestic news media, which focused on the ethnic dimensions to the conflict. On 9 April 1989, Diawara, a town in the Bakel Department of eastern Senegal, was the scene of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and Mauritanian Soninke farmers in Senegal over grazing rights. Mauritanian border guards intervened, firing at and killing two Senegalese peasants, as well as injuring several more while taking a dozen Senegalese prisoner.
As a result, people on the Senegalese southern bank rioted. In Senegal, many shopkeepers were Mauritanian, from 21 to 24 April, the shops of Mauritanian traders in Senegal where looted and burned. In addition, there were reports of professional Mauritanians being burned alive in their furnaces using spits, with others were beheaded; the end of April saw riots in Nouakchott and other Mauritanian cities with hundreds of Senegalese being killed or otherwise injured. Both countries began expelling the nationals of the other on 28 April, resulting in further reprisals in both countries. At this time, the official figure for the number of casualties in the conflict stood at 60. Repatriation was done with the help of French, Algerian and Spanish flights. A state of emergency and curfew were introduced in the Dakar region to prevent further violence. Senegalese President Abdou Diouf used the Senegalese army to protect the Mauritanian nationals who were being rounded up and expelled. In all 160,000 Mauritanians, the majority of them in Senegal, were repatriated.
Lynch mobs and police brutality in Mauritania resulting in the forced exile of about 70,000 southerners to Senegal, despite most of them having no links to the country. About 250,000 people fled their homes as both sides engaged in cross-border raids. Hundreds of people died in both countries; the Senegal-Mauritanian border closed and diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken on 21 August 1989. The Organisation of African Unity tried to negotiate a settlement to reopen the border, but it was an initiative of Senegalese President Abdou Diouf which led to a treaty being signed on July 18, 1991; the treaty helped result in the re-established of relations, which took place in April 1992, the border was reopened on 2 May 1992. Mauritanian refugees trickled back into the country during the following years; the armed black nationalist Mauritanian movement African Liberation Forces of Mauritania is based in northern Senegal. The departure of massive numbers of people lead to an incredible disruption in the balance of the Senegal river valley, causing a decline in agricultural production and an increase in deforestation.
In Mauritania the construction and fishing industries, which were traditionally staffed by the Senegalese suffered from the expulsions. The water and general infrastructure of the Senegalese bank of the river operating at peak capacity, was overwhelmed by the sheer number of refugees; the Senegalese population centers of Podor and Matam saw their populations grow by 13.6% and 12% respectively. The populations of some other villages in Senegal double. In terms of domestic politics in Senegal, the conflict may have contributed to the rise of the PDS and Abdoulaye Wade due to the governments inability to deal with the social crisis caused by the influx of vast numbers of refugees. Senegal was further undermined by its neighbors following the war, with problems over the demarcation of the border with Guinea-Bissau has arisen in the wake of the conflict, difficulties with the Gambia leading to the dissolution of the Senegambia Confederation in 1989; the period of conflict has had a lasting impact on relations between Mauritania and Senegal as well as domestic perceptions of each other.
In June 2007, the Mauritanian government under President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi asked the United Nations High Commiss
Geography of Senegal
Senegal is a coastal West African nation located 14 degrees north of the Equator and 14 degrees west of the Prime Meridian. The country's total area is 196 190 km2 of which 4 190 km2 is water. Senegal is bordered to the west by the North Atlantic Ocean. On land, the nation's longest border is with Mauritania to the north, an 813 km border along the Senegal River. To the east is the 419 km border with Mali. In the southeast is Guinea and to the south-southwest is Guinea-Bissau, both borders running along the Casamance River. Senegal is one of only a handful of countries to have a near-enclave within its borders—the small nation of the Gambia in the interior, which has a 740 km border with Senegal; the Gambia penetrates more than 320 km into Senegal, from the Atlantic coast to the center of Senegal along the Gambia River, which bisects Senegal's territory. In total, Senegal has 2 640 km of land borders, 531 km of coastline and shoreline. Senegal makes maritime claims of a 24 nmi contiguous zone, a 12 nmi territorial sea, a 370 km exclusive economic zone.
It claims a 200 nmi continental shelf, or to the edge of the continental margin. Another distinctive and well-known feature of the country is the pink-water Lake Retba, near the city of Dakar, one of the few lakes in the world with pink or reddish coloured water; the lowest point in Senegal is the Atlantic Ocean, at sea level. The highest point is an unnamed feature 2.7 km southeast of Nepen Diakha at 648 m. Tropical. Well-defined dry and humid seasons result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. Dakar's annual rainfall of about 600 mm occurs between June and October when maximum temperatures average 30 °C and minimums 24.2 °C. Interior temperatures are higher than along the coast, rainfall increases farther south, exceeding 1,500 mm annually in some areas. Extremes in annual precipitation range from 250mm in the extreme north, to 1800mm in extreme southern coastal areas. In the far interior of the country, in the region of Tambacounda on the border of Mali, temperatures can reach as high as 54 °C.
Senegal has a number of vegetation zones: sahel, Sahel-Sudan, Sudan-Guinea, tropical rainforest, Guinean mangroves. Most of the southern Casamance arm of the country has been classified by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion. It's worth looking out these 2 last maps, although they include "other zones" as well. Vegetation zones of Senegal 2 Vegetation zones of Senegal 3 Terrain: low, plains rising to foothills in the southeast. Natural resources: fish, iron ore Land use: arable land: 19.57% permanent crops: 0.28% other: 80.15% Irrigated land: 1,197 km2 Total renewable water resources: 38.8 km3Natural hazards: lowlands seasonally flooded. This is a list of the extreme points of Senegal, the points that are farther north, east or west than any other location. Northernmost point – unnamed location on the border with Mauritania in the Senegal river north-west of the town of Podor, Saint-Louis Region Easternmost point – unnamed location on the border with Mali near the confluence of the Balin-Ko river and the Falémé River, Kédougou Region Southernmost point – unnamed location on the border with Guinea south of the village of Toile, Kédougou Region Westernmost point - Pointe des Almadies, Cap Vert peninsula, Dakar Region* *Note: this is the western-most point of the African continent
Dakar is the capital and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland; the city of Dakar proper has a population of 1,030,594, whereas the population of the Dakar metropolitan area is estimated at 2.45 million. The area around Dakar was settled in the 15th century; the Portuguese established a presence on the island of Gorée off the coast of Cap-Vert and used it as a base for the Atlantic slave trade. France took over the island in 1677. Following the abolition of the slave trade and French annexation of the mainland area in the 19th century, Dakar grew into a major regional port and a major city of the French colonial empire. In 1902, Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa. From 1959 to 1960, Dakar was the capital of the short-lived Mali Federation. In 1960, it became the capital of the independent Republic of Senegal. Dakar is home to multiple national and regional banks as well as numerous international organizations.
From 1978 to 2007, it was the traditional finishing point of the Dakar Rally. Dakar will host the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics, making it the first African city to host the Olympics; the Cap-Vert peninsula was settled no than the 15th century, by the Lebou people, an aquacultural ethnic group related to the neighboring Wolof and Serer. The original villages: Ouakam, Ngor and Hann, still constitute distinctively Lebou neighborhoods of the city today. In 1444, the Portuguese reached the Bay of Dakar as slave-raiders. Peaceful contact was opened in 1456 by Diogo Gomes, the bay was subsequently referred to as the "Angra de Bezeguiche"; the bay of "Bezeguiche" would go on to serve as a critical stop for the Portuguese India Armadas of the early 16th century, where large fleets would stop, both on their outward and return journeys from India, to repair, collect fresh water from the rivulets and wells along the Cap-Vert shore and trade for provisions with the local people for their remaining voyage. The Portuguese founded a settlement on the island of Gorée, which by 1536 they began to use as a base for slave exportation.
The mainland of Cap-Vert, was under control of the Jolof Empire, as part of the western province of Cayor which seceded from Jolof in its own right in 1549. A new Lebou village, called Ndakaaru, was established directly across from Gorée in the 17th century to service the European trading factory with food and drinking water. Gorée was captured by the United Netherlands in 1588; the island was to switch hands between the Portuguese and Dutch several more times before falling to the English under Admiral Robert Holmes on January 23, 1664, to the French in 1677. Though under continuous French administration since, métis families, descended from Dutch and French traders and African wives, dominated the slave trade; the infamous "House of Slaves" was built at Gorée in 1776. In 1795, the Lebou of Cape Verde revolted against Cayor rule. A new theocratic state, subsequently called the "Lebou Republic" by the French, was established under the leadership of the Diop, a Muslim clerical family from Koki in Cayor.
The capital of the republic was established at Ndakaaru. In 1857 the French established a military post at Ndakaaru and annexed the Lebou Republic, though its institutions continued to function nominally; the Serigne of Ndakaaru is still recognized as the traditional political authority of the Lebou by the Senegalese State today. The slave trade was abolished by France in February 1794. However, Napoleon reinstated it in May 1802 finally abolished it permanently in March 1815. Despite Napoleon's abolition, a clandestine slave trade continued at Gorée until 1848, when it was abolished throughout all French territories. To replace trade in slaves, the French promoted peanut cultivation on the mainland; as the peanut trade boomed, tiny Gorée Island, whose population had grown to 6,000 residents, proved ineffectual as a port. Traders from Gorée decided to move to the mainland and a "factory" with warehouses was established in Rufisque in 1840. Large public expenditure for infrastructure was allocated by the colonial authorities to Dakar's development.
The port facilities were improved with jetties, a telegraph line was established along the coast to Saint-Louis and the Dakar-Saint-Louis railway was completed in 1885, at which point the city became an important base for the conquest of the western Sudan. Gorée, including Dakar, was recognised as a French commune in 1872. Dakar itself was split off from Gorée as a separate commune in 1887; the citizens of the city elected their own mayor and municipal council and helped send an elected representative to the National Assembly in Paris. Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa in 1902. A second major railroad, the Dakar-Niger built from 1906–1923, linked Dakar to Bamako and consolidated the city's position at the head of France's West African empire. In 1929, the commune of Gorée Island, now with only a few hundred inhabitants, was merged into Dakar. Urbanization during the colonial period was marked by forms of racial and social segregation—often expressed in terms of health and hygiene—which continue to structure the city today.
Following a plague epidemic in 1914, the authorities forced most of the African population out of old neighborhoods, o
Thiès is a region of western Senegal. The capital is called Thiès, it has two coastlines, one in the north with the Grande Côte housing the Niayes vegetable market, one to the south with the Petite Côte, one of the tourist areas of Senegal. Principally the main passageway between the peninsula and the rest of the country, the region of Thies has received a communication route connected to the first rail line and new road infrastructure. Small, yet it is the most populous region after the Dakar, with a population of 1,709,112 inhabitants at the end 2007; the coastal communities dependent on fishing, growing crops and coastal tourism for subsistence. The interior of the region was the peanut basin. Phosphates are mined there; the Thiès Region has always been occupied by the Serer people since the ancient Serers and their ancestors. However, in the pre-colonial period, more so around the 16th century, the Wolof immigrants among others have settled in. Like the Fatick Region, the entire Thiès Region is Serer and one of the most important of Serer country.
It is where many of the Serer sacred and historical sites are found. The area is well represented by the Cangin, a sub-group of the Serers, who had a fierce reputation for protecting their country from outsiders in precolonial times as well as during the colonial-era. Geographically, the region overlaps with the precolonial Kingdoms of Cayor and Baol; the Kingdom of Baol was ruled by the Joof family for several centuries until c 1549. During the colonial-era, its development was supported by the railway line - the Dakar-Saint-Louis railway in the late nineteenth century, with the Dakar-Niger railway, thus Administratively, it is one of the oldest in the country. Thiès region is divided into 3 departments, 14 communes, 12 arrondissements, 32 communautés rurales and 3 communes d'arrondissement; the region is divided into 3 departments as follows': M'bour Thiès Tivaoune In M'bour: M'bour Joal-Fadiouth Nguekokh Ngaparou Popenguine-Ndayane Saly Somone ThiadiayeIn Thiès: Kayar Khombole PoutIn Tivaouane: Tivaouane Mboro Meckhe In M'bour: Fissel Séssène SindiaIn Thiès: Thiès Nord Thiès Sud Keur Moussa Notto ThiénabaIn Tivaouane: Méouane Médina Dakhar Niakhène Pambal In M'bour: Fissel Ndiaganiao Nguéniène Sandiara Séssène Malicounda Diass SindiaIn Thiès: Diender Geudj Fandène Keur Moussa Notto Tassette Ndiayène Sirah Thiénaba Ngoudiane Touba ToulIn Tivaouane: Méouane Taïba Ndiaye Darou-Khoudoss Koul Mérina Dakhar Pékesse Nbayène Ngandiouf Niakhène Thilmakha Chérif Lo Mont Rolland Notto Gouye Diama Pambal Pire GourèyeIn 2003, the rural population was 769,884, grouped in 31 villages, in communautés rurales.
List of administrative divisions in Senegal Map of Thies region Site on Thiès
French West Africa
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, French Sudan, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta and Niger. The capital of the federation was Dakar; the federation existed from 1895 until 1960. Until after the Second World War none of the Africans living in the colonies of France were citizens of France. Rather, they were "French subjects", lacking rights before the law, property ownership rights, rights to travel, dissent, or vote; the exception was the Four Communes of Senegal: those areas had been towns of the tiny Senegal Colony in 1848 when, at the abolition of slavery by the French Second Republic, all residents of France were granted equal political rights. Anyone able to prove they were born in these towns was French, they could vote in parliamentary elections, dominated by white and Métis residents of Senegal. The Four Communes of Senegal were entitled to elect a deputy to represent them in the French parliament in 1848–1852, 1871–1876, 1879–1940.
In 1914, the first African, Blaise Diagne, was elected as the deputy for Senegal in the French Parliament. In 1916, Diagne pushed a law through the National Assembly granting full citizenship to all residents of the so-called Four Communes. In return, he promised to help recruit millions of Africans to fight in World War I. Thereafter, all black Africans of Dakar, Gorée, Saint-Louis, Rufisque could vote to send a representative to the French National Assembly; as the French pursued their part in the scramble for Africa in the 1880s and 1890s, they conquered large inland areas, at first ruled them as either a part of the Senegal colony or as independent entities. These conquered areas were governed by French Army officers, dubbed "military territories". In the late 1890s, the French government began to rein in the territorial expansion of its "officers on the ground", transferred all the territories west of Gabon to a single governor based in Senegal, reporting directly to the Minister of Overseas Affairs.
The first governor-general of Senegal was named in 1895, in 1904, the territories he oversaw were formally named French West Africa. Gabon would become the seat of its own federation French Equatorial Africa, to border its western neighbor on the modern boundary between Niger and Chad. After the Fall of France in June 1940 and the two battles of Dakar against the Free French Forces in July and September 1940, authorities in West Africa declared allegiance to the Vichy regime, as did the colony of French Gabon in AEF. Gabon fell to Free France after the Battle of Gabon in November 1940, but West Africa remained under Vichy control until the Allied landings in North Africa in November 1942. Following World War II, the French government began a process of extending limited political rights in its colonies. In 1945 the French Provisional Government allocated ten seats to French West Africa in the new Constituent Assembly called to write a new French Constitution. Of these five would be elected by five by African subjects.
The elections brought to prominence a new generation of French-educated Africans. On 21 October 1945 six Africans were elected, the Four Communes citizens chose Lamine Guèye, Senegal/Mauritania Léopold Sédar Senghor, Ivory Coast/Upper Volta Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Dahomey/Togo Sourou-Migan Apithy, Soudan-Niger Fily Dabo Sissoko, Guinea Yacine Diallo, they were all re-elected to the 2nd Constituent Assembly on 2 June 1946. In 1946, the Loi Lamine Guèye granted some limited citizenship rights to natives of the African colonies; the French Empire was renamed the French Union on 27 October 1946, when the new constitution of the French Fourth Republic was established. In late 1946 under this new constitution, each territory was for the first time able elect local representatives, albeit on a limited franchise, to newly established General Councils; these elected bodies had only limited consultative powers. The Loi Cadre of 23 June 1956 brought universal suffrage to elections held after that date in all French African colonies.
The first elections under universal suffrage in French West Africa were the municipal elections of late 1956. On 31 March 1957, under universal suffrage, territorial Assembly elections were held in each of the eight colonies; the leaders of the winning parties were appointed to the newly instituted positions of Vice-Presidents of the respective Governing Councils — French Colonial Governors remained as Presidents. The Constitution of the French Fifth Republic of 1958 again changed the structure of the colonies from the French Union to the French Community; each territory was to become a "Protectorate", with the consultative assembly named a National Assembly. The Governor appointed by the French was renamed the "High Commissioner", made head of state of each territory; the Assembly would name an African as Head of Government with advisory powers to the Head of State. The federation ceased to exist after the September 1958 referendum to approve this French Community. All the colonies except Guinea voted to remain in the new structure.
Guineans voted overwhelmingly for independence. In 1960, a further revision of the French constitution, compelled by the failure of the French Indochina War and the tensions in Algeria, allowed members of the French Community to unilaterally change their own constitutions. Senegal and former French Sudan became the Mali Federation, while
Sédhiou is a town of Senegal, in Casamance area, nearby the Casamance river, with a population of 24,213 in 2013. The main historical culture of Sédhiou came from the Mandinka people, but many populations are located in the area nowadays, it is the capital of Sédhiou Region. In 1983, 13,212 inhabitants lived in the town, rising to 18,465 in 2002. At the 2013 census Sédhiou had a population of 24,213; the town is the birthplace and hometown of Senegalese International Footballer, Sadio Mané, who plays for English Premier League club Liverpool F. C. Les Ulis City web site Présentation of Sédhiou on Les Ulis official web site