SENEGAL: Rebels due to end second round talks
Abidjan, 26 July 1999 (IRIN) - Southern Senegalese separatists are due to end a second round of internal talks in The Gambia on Monday aimed at presenting a common position for planned peace negotiations with the government in Dakar, an official in the Gambian Department of State for Foreign Affairs told IRIN.
"It is a historic event," the official said.
His comment was in reference to the first meeting in six years between the political leader of the Mouvement des forces democratique de Casamance (MFDC), Father Diamacoune Senghor, and the movement's more radical commander, Salif Sadio.
Sadio, who commands the southern front in the war for independence, did not attend the initial conference on 22 June in The Gambia to reconcile the MFDC's internal difference, although he did send representatives.
The opening of the second round of talks, which started on Saturday, was also attended by the commander of the MFDC's northern front Sidi Badji, Senegal's ministers of the interior and agriculture, Lamine Cisse and Robert Sagna and Ansumane Mane, the leader of the Guinea Bissau Military Junta that ousted President Joao Bernardo Vieira.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]