Name of leader         Augustin Diamacoune Senghor

 

Organization                  Mouvement des forces démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC)/Atika

English translation       The Movement of Casamance Democratic Forces

 

Conflict country            Senegal

 

Gender                            Male   

    

Year of birth                   1928 [1]

 

Place of birth                 Senghalene, Senegal[2]

 

Year of death                 2007 [3]

 

 

Deceased

 

Yes, he died in 2007 of illness.

 

Birth order

 

He was the eldest among his siblings.[4]

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

in 1982, at 54 years old, he founded the organization.[5] 

 

Leader entry method

 

He founded the organization.[6]

 

For a second time [7], Senghor was “named” secretary-general of the MFDC in 1991 and became the president in 2001.[8]

 

Powersharing

 

Yes; there is a military wing in the MFDC called the Atika.[9] Senghor led the political wing of the organization.[10] The military and political wings were deeply divided, as they regularly did not agree on issues.[11]

 

He did not maintain complete control over the fighters within the organization, but they did declare allegiance to him.[12] He was unique in being a person of authority for all of the MFDC’s factions.[13] There were three main factions in the MFDC, and only one of these factions, the Front Sud, remained loyal to Senghor.[14]

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

It is assumed he has had an undergraduate education because he became a Roman Catholic priest.[15] He began to study at a seminary when he was 11 and was ordained as a priest in 1956.[16] Afterwards, he studied theology in Belgium.[17]  

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

No; there is no evidence he was married.

 

Children

 

No; there is no evidence he had children.

 

Religious identification

 

He practiced Roman Catholicism.[18]

 

Elite family background

 

His family background is unknown.

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

He was able to hold an influential conference on the Casamance at the Dakar Chamber of Commerce in 1980.[19] He organized youth movements and had publicly discussed Casamance problems since 1978.[20] 

 

Physical and mental health

 

He suffered from kidney problems. He had been treated since Late October of 2006.[21]

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

From 1972 to 1975, he was the director of a Catholic seminary. He was a literature professor at a college in Ziguinchor.[22] He was also a priest.[23] He hosted a radio show about the region’s economic and political issues which frequently called for Casamance independence.[24]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No; he did not serve in a state military.

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No; it is unlikely that he participated in a nonstate militant organization before his leadership role.

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

No; there is no evidence of combat experience.

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No; he did not hold a governmental position.

 

Lived in exile?

 

No; he did not live in exile.

 

Study abroad?

 

Yes; he studied theology in Belgium.[25]

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

No; there is no evidence of military training abroad.

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

Whether he had extensive work experience abroad is unknown.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

Yes. He was in prison between 1982-1987 and between 1990-1991.[26] From 1995 to 1999, he was under a form of house arrest by the Catholic archdiocese in Ziguinchor, Senegal.[27] He was restricted to a few rooms above a bookstore. It appears he attempted to continue his leadership of the organization during his confinement.[28]

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No; there was no state-led assassination attempt.[29]

 

Cause of Death?

 

He died of illness.[30]

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

The MFDC uses the Diola language to name its military wing.[31] It is possible Senghor knows the language, but confirmation is currently unavailable.

One of his writings promoting Casamance independence has a French title, which indicates that he knows French.[32]  Whether this language is his primary language or not is currently unknown, but his use of it in his writings indicates French may be the primary or a regularly used language.

 

 

 

[1]Image Credit: https://cdn09.allafrica.com/download/pic/main/main/csiid/00110450:a486fa04ca5a206db152cec413d9276b:arc614x376:w614:us1.gif

(For non-commercial use, all credits belong to the original owners, please contact for removal)

 “Senghor, Augustin Diamacoune 1928–2007,” Encyclopedia.com, 2005, Accessed March 14, 2018, https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/senghor-augustin-diamacoune-1928-2007.

[2]  “Senghor, Augustin Diamacoune 1928–2007,” Encyclopedia.com, 2005, Accessed March 14, 2018, https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/senghor-augustin-diamacoune-1928-2007.

[3] Diallo, Mamadou. “Senegal Rebel Leader Dies in France”, AP Online, January 15, 2007.

[4] “Terminal Split in Senegal’s Casamance Separatists.” HIS Global Insight, March 19, 2004.

[5] Diallo, Mamadou. “Senegal Rebel Leader Dies in France”, AP Online, January 15, 2007.

[6] “Senegal: Separatist Leader Dies,” African Research Bulletin, January 2007, 16943; “South Senegal Separatist Movement Retires Its Leader,” Agence France-Presse, September 14, 2004.

[7] Revolutionary and Militant Organization Dataset (REVMOD); accessible at www.revolutionarymilitant.org.

[8] “Senegal’s Ex-Rebel Leader from Casamance Dies”. Agence France-Presse, January 14, 2007.

[9] “Senegal: Casamance Separatist Begin Talks in Gambia amid ‘tension,’” BBC Monitoring International Reports (June 22, 1999).

[10] “Senegal: Casamance Separatist Rebels Resume Attacks After Lull”. BBC Monitoring International Reports, November 25, 1997.

[11] Mark Deets, “Bitter Roots: The Obstacles to Peace in the Casamance Conflict” In African Environmental and Human Security in the 21st Century, edited by Helen E. Purkitt. Amherst: Cambria Press, 2009, 107.

[12] “Senegal: Separatist Leader Dies,” African Research Bulletin, January 2007, 16944.

[13] Chris Simpson and Mamadou Alpha Diallo. “Between War and Peace”. IRIN, August 3, 2015, accessed May 31, 2017. https://www.irinnews.org/feature/2015/08/03/between-war-and-peace.

[14] Scott Straus, Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015), 213.

[15] Reuters, “Around the World: 19 Are Dead in Senegal in Clashes with Police.”

[16] “Senegal’s Ex-Rebel Leader from Casamance Dies”.

[17] Pierre Englebert, "Compliance and Defiance to National Integration in Barotseland and Casamance." Africa Spectrum 40, no. 1 (2005): 48.

[18] Reuters, “Around the World: 19 Are Dead in Senegal in Clashes with Police.”

[19] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 338-360.

[20] Englebert.38.

[21] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 338-360.

[22] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 338-360.

[23] Senegal’s Ex-Rebel Leader from Casamance Dies.”

[24] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 344-345.

[25] Pierre Englebert, "Compliance and Defiance to National Integration in Barotseland and Casamance." Africa Spectrum 40, no. 1 (2005): 48.

[26] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 338-360.

[27] Woocher. 347. “Casamance Separatist Icon Diamacoune Prepares for Peace”. Agence France-Presse, December 28, 2004.

[28] Rupert, James. “Separatists’ Rebellion in Senegal Flares Anew; Regional War Complicates West African Nation’s strubble to Pull Itself Out of Poverty,” The Washington Post, October 4, 1997.

[29] Revolutionary and Militant Organization Dataset (REVMOD); accessible at www.revolutionarymilitant.org.

[30] Wilmetta J. Toliver-Diallo, “’The Woman Who Was More Than a Man’: Making Aline Sitoe Diatta into a National Heroine in Senegal”. Canadian Journal of African Studies/ Revue Canadienne Des Etudes Africaines 39, no. 2 (2005): 338-360.

[31] “Senegal Looks to End Casamance Conflict with Peace Pact Thursday”. Agence France-Presse, December 28, 2004.

[32] Diouf, Mamadou. “Between Ethnic Memories & Colonial History in Senegal: The MFDC & the Struggle for Independence in Casamance”, Translated from the French by Jonathan M. Sears In Ethnicity & Democracy in Africa, Edited by Bruce Berman, Dickson Eyoh, and Will Kymlicka. Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2004. 223.