Last Updated on March 24, 2006 by Paulette Brown-Hinds
BISSAU/ZIGUINCHOR, Mar. 20 (GIN) – Guinea-Bissau is getting involved in fighting among rival factions of Senegal's Casamance rebellion, leading to fears the long simmering, low-level conflict, could ignite on a new front.
Rocket launchers, machine guns, mortar fire and shelling have been heard since early this week in the porous border region between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, especially near the Bissau town of Sao Domingos. Guinea-Bissau lies south of Senegal on the coastal edge of West Africa.
Rebels, fighting for the independence of Casamance since the early 1980s, signed a peace deal with the Senegalese in 2004, but at least one rebel faction rejected the terms of the deal. Now the newly-re-elected president of Guinea, is said to be weighing in with support for one of the rebel factions.
Over the weekend, more than 4,500 people fled from homes in the conflict region, humanitarian officials said on Monday.