The displacement is because of a Senegalese army operation in opposition to rebels in Casamance who’re preventing for independence.
Stray bullets whistled previous Senegalese villager Modou Badjie and his household as they ran by a cashew forest in the midst of the evening to succeed in neighbouring Gambia.
Badjie, his three wives, many youngsters and prolonged members of the family are amongst greater than 690 individuals who have crossed the border to flee a flare-up in preventing between troopers and separatists in Senegal’s southern Casamance area, in response to authorities figures.
“Their pictures may have hit one among us,” Badjie mentioned within the Gambian village of Upert, some 4 kilometres (three miles) from the border, the place the household took shelter in March. “Folks ran away due to the preventing and left all their belongings behind,” he mentioned. “We misplaced every little thing and are very drained.”
On March 13, the Senegalese army launched an operation in opposition to rebels in Casamance preventing for independence. The military mentioned the operation was to clear the forest space the place the rebels had camps which they used for unlawful actions, together with rising hashish.
Shaped in 1982, the separatist motion has been largely dormant since a ceasefire in 2014 however continues to launch occasional assaults, prompting army interventions.
The rebel has thrived on perceived marginalisation of the area wedged between The Gambia to its north and Guinea-Bissau to the south.
The newest clashes displaced greater than 6,000 villagers in each Senegal and Gambia, the place households have been internet hosting refugees, inserting stress on the tiny West African nation of about two million folks, its authorities mentioned.
Badjie’s dozen kinfolk moved in with a household of about 15 who supplied to host them. Ladies and kids sleep collectively underneath the corrugated iron roof of their cement residence on mattresses laid on the ground.
The lads keep in tarpaulin tents donated by the Gambian Crimson Cross. “It is rather scorching inside,” mentioned Badjie, making an attempt to tie down unfastened sheets of canvas flapping within the wind. “We now have to attend till midnight to go in.”
Badjie’s host Suleyman Sonko mentioned humanitarian help had been sluggish and sparse. “When meals arrived (in Could) it was not sufficient,” Sonko mentioned. “We determined to provide all of the rice to our friends.”
Regardless of the discomfort, Badjie is simply too cautious to enterprise again. Days after their arrival, a Gambian villager choosing cashew nuts close to the border was hit by a stray bullet.
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