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Senegal: Rebel leader declares ceasefire
Senegal: Rebel leader declares ceasefire, looks to end southern insurgency
Associated Press
2014-04-30 11:42 PM

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The most high-profile rebel leader in Senegal's southern Casamance region has declared a ceasefire to facilitate negotiations to end the low-level insurgency.

Salif Sadio, leader of the armed wing of the Movement of the Democratic Forces, has been fighting for Casamance's independence since the early 1980s.

In a statement seen by The Associated Press Wednesday, Sadio expressed hope that the ceasefire would bring "lasting peace." He said it came partly in response to negotiations between government and rebel representatives in Rome in February.

Government spokesman Abdou Latif Coulibaly said the ceasefire is "highly appreciated." Though Sadio does not speak for all rebels in Casamance, Coulibaly said the government hoped all would eventually endorse the peace process.

Observers estimate more than 100 Senegalese soldiers have died in the conflict.

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