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Casamance: Map

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Map of the Casamance region.


Casamance ( ) is the area of Senegalmarker south of The Gambiamarker including the Casamance River. It consists of Basse Casamance (Baixa Casamança [Lower Casamance]) (Ziguinchor Regionmarker) and Haute Casamance (Alta Casamança [Upper Casamance]) (Kolda Regionmarker). Ziguinchormarker is its largest town.

The climate is low-lying and hot, with some hill to the southeast; the economy of the Casamance relies largely on rice cultivation and tourism. It also has excellent beaches along its coastline, particularly at Cap Skirringmarker.

The Jola are the dominant ethnic group in the Casamance, though they are economically disadvantaged as a whole in Senegal . Their economic condition has contributed to a separatist movement for the independence or autonomy of the Casamance, Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) . The Casamance Conflict has, at times, led to violent confrontations with Senegalese forces and killings for decades at the end of the 20th century.

The Casamance was subject to both French and Portuguese colonial efforts before a border was negotiated in 1888 between the French colony of Senegal and Portuguese Guineamarker (now Guinea-Bissaumarker) to the south. Portugal lost possession of Casamance, then the commercial hub of its colony . Casamance, to this day, has preserved the local variant of Kriol known as Ziguinchor Creole, and the members of the deep-rooted Creole community carry Portuguese surnames like Da Silva, Carvalho and Fonseca. Interest in Portuguese colonial heritage has been revived in order to exalt a distinct identity , particularly of Baixa Casamança.

The Casamance has average rainfall greater than the rest of Senegal.

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