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Senegal

Last Updated: 26 September 2012

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2011

800 (171 killed, 616 injured; 13 unknown)

Casualties in 2011

32 (2010: 4)

2011 casualties by outcome

8 killed; 24 injured (2010: 2 killed; 2 injured)

2011 casualties by device type

32 unknown mines

In 2011, 32 casualties were reported by the Senegalese National Mine Action Center (Centre National d’Action Antimines au Sénégal, CNAMS).[1] This represents a significant increase from the four casualties in 2010 and two reported in 2009. This rise in the annual casualty rate is explained by the increase in mine casualties among combatants (23 of the 32 casualties). Nearly all casualties in 2011 occurred in the north of Casamance, near the border with Gambia. In 2011, violent conflict intensified in this region between the Senegalese State and the rebel group Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance, MFDC).[2] Fluctuations in the security situation in Casamance have resulted in variable annual mine casualty rates in Senegal over the last several years.[3]

There were also nine civilian casualties reported in 2011, including four women. There were no casualties among children identified during the year.

At least 800 casualties (171 killed; 616 injured; 13 unknown) were reported between 1988 and the end of 2011.[4] This included 566 civilian casualties and 221 military casualties.[5] Since 2005, all reported casualties have been caused by mines.[6]

Victim Assistance

Senegal is known to have survivors of landmines and other types of explosive remnants of war (ERW). It has made a commitment to provide victim assistance as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

By the end of 2011, there were at least 616 mine/ERW survivors in Senegal, which included 428 civilian survivors and 188 military survivors.

Victim assistance since 1999[7]

Most mine/ERW survivors in Senegal live in the Casamance natural region, where services are much more limited than elsewhere in the country. Senegal has reported on several occasions that it is committed to victim assistance, but at the same time has acknowledged that needs were not being met due to a lack of resources. CNAMS relied on international and national NGOs, including the Senegalese Association of Mine Victims (Association Sénégalaise des Victimes des Mines, ASVM), to implement activities. Years of conflict and continued intermittent violence devastated infrastructure and prevented access to services.

Through to 2011, emergency medical care was limited and response times depended on the location of the incident; the army provided assistance. Follow-up medical care was only available in the two regional hospitals, which had sufficient capacity but had equipment that only worked intermittently and shortages of supplies. These two hospitals and their satellite centers also provided physical rehabilitation. Neither follow-up medical care nor physical rehabilitation was free of charge for survivors, making services unaffordable for most.[8] In addition to shortages of supplies and materials, there were reports of long waiting lists. Psychosocial support has been provided by the Kenia Psychiatric Center (Centre Psychiatrique de Kénia) and ASVM with the support of the CNAMS. Only one medical center and one psychiatrist provided psychological support to mine survivors and other persons with disabilities for all regions of Casamance, but in practice these services were only accessible to survivors living in the south due to the center’s distance from the northern regions and the lack of transportation.[9] Throughout the period, economic reintegration and education opportunities for survivors were inadequate because there were few NGO activities and because survivors had difficulties accessing broader programs for all vulnerable groups. Military survivors received separate services, which were mostly free of charge and better, but still had gaps.[10]

Assessing victim assistance needs

No assessments of survivor’s needs were carried out in 2011. During the year, the Ad Hoc Victim Assistance Committee, chaired by CNAMS, continued to use the data on survivors needs that was collected in October 2009 in the implementation of the National Victim Assistance Action Plan 2010–2014 (Plan d’Action National pour l’Assistance aux Victimes des mines, PANAV). In 2011, at least one NGO reported that CNAMS did not take into account information collected through this needs assessment in addressing the rehabilitation needs of survivors.[11]

Victim assistance coordination in 2011[12]

Government coordinating body/focal point

CNAMS for civilian survivors; Foundation for Disabled Veterans for military survivors

Coordinating mechanism

Ad Hoc Victim Assistance Committee which includes government ministries, ASVM, and victim assistance service providers

Plan

PANAV 2010–2014

In 2011, just one meeting of the national Ad Hoc Victim Assistance Committee was held, in December, as compared with monthly meetings in 2010.[13] National victim assistance coordination was seen to be ineffective during the year, due to a lack of clarity on the roles and responsibilities of its participants.[14] At least one NGO saw a decline in the regularity and inclusivity of victim assistance coordination meetings held by CNAMS since the adoption of PANAV in 2010.[15]

A new victim assistance coordination mechanism, the Regional Development Committee, was established for the Ziguinchor region and held several meetings during the year. The committee includes international organizations and national NGOs working in victim assistance.[16] NGOs that provided victim assistance services, such as Handicap International (HI), the ASVM and UNICEF continued to also meet bilaterally to discuss progress and challenges in implementing victim assistance projects.[17]

Senegal’s PANAV included a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating progress in its implementation, though no reports had been made available that compared victim assistance progress against PANAV through the end of 2011.[18] PANAV included a projected budget which was updated and presented at the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in May 2012.[19] Senegal invited international assistance to support its implementation, but maintained that any amount not covered through international support remained the responsibility of the state.[20]

Senegal provided updates on mine casualties and on progress and challenges for victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012, as well as through Form I of its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.[21] It did not provide an update at the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Phnom Penh in December 2011.

Inclusion and participation in victim assistance

Mine/ERW survivors were involved through ASVM and international organizations in the design of victim assistance programming.[22] Survivor did not participate in any national victim assistance coordination meetings in 2011 though they were included in the Ziguinchor regional coordination mechanism.[23]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[24]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2011

CNAMS

Government

Funding for materials and equipment to Ziguinchor Regional Hospital; for treatment of survivors at Kenia Psychiatric Center

No additional financial support provided to revolving credit fund for survivors

Ziguinchor Regional Hospital, Orthopedic Department (CRAO)

Government

Physical rehabilitation

New project to increase availability to physical rehabilitation for mine/ERW victims by providing prosthetics and devices free of charge

Kenia Psychiatric Center (Centre Psychiatrique de Kénia), Kenia Hospital

Government

Psychological support, including outreach; training for occupational counselors at the Ziguinchor Educational and Vocational Guidance Center

Conducted two outreach visits to Kolda and Bignona regions

Casamance Rural Development Support Project (PADERCA)

Government

Social and Economic inclusion

Established a farm for mine/ERW survivors in the town of Diattacounda in collaboration with ASVM

CAOSP

Government

Education and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW victims

Started providing education and professional orientation services to students that are mine/ERW victims

ASVM

National NGO

Referrals for medical care and physical rehabilitation; economic inclusion including assisting child survivors to access education, advocacy, and peer support

Reduced coverage of activities in certain regions to focus on the north of Casamance and due to difficult transport conditions

National Association of Disabled Veterans (Association Nationale des Anciens Militaires Invalides du Sénégal, ANAMIS)

National NGO

Referrals for medical care, economic inclusion, and peer support among disabled veterans; advocacy to increase government support for economic inclusion and improved housing conditions

Ongoing activities

HI

International NGO

Inclusive education; disability advocacy and professional insertion (vocational training and income generating activities)

Ongoing

UNICEF

International organization

Support for programs to help children access education and physical rehabilitation

New project in collaboration with HI and ASVM to support access to education for children mine/ERW survivors and children of mine/ERW victims

ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD)

International organization

Support for prosthetic/orthotic supplies and equipment and management training for CRAO rehabilitation center

Began an exchange programme with the Bamako (Mali) rehabilitation center for one staff member from Ziguinchor to attend a three-week training session

ICRC

International organization

Support for medical equipment and supplies; funded medical treatment for war wounded; micro-economic initiatives for war affected communities, included survivors

Ongoing support

In 2011, there was increased availability of victim assistance services focused especially on improving social inclusion of children affected by mines/ERW.[25] The escalation of violence in the northern part of the Casamance region decreased access to all victim assistance services for survivors in this geographic area, as transportation was limited.[26] This decrease in access was offset somewhat as some service providers shifted the focus of their activities towards the northern part of Casamance where an increase of new victims was reported.[27] Overly bureaucratic procedures, the centralization of victim assistance services in the regional capital, and the fact that assistance was not affordable prevented many survivors from accessing services, particularly physical rehabilitation.[28]

In 2011, the ICRC continued to provide supplies for medical emergencies to the Ziguinchor Regional Hospital.[29]

In 2011, the government, through CNAMS, increased funding for materials for prosthetics. However, the materials provided were not appropriate to the needs of mine survivors as determined through the 2009 victim needs assessment.[30] The ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) continued to provide materials for the production of prosthetics and orthotics, as well as equipment, to the Ziguinchor Regional Hospital, Orthopedic Department (CRAO) and increased efforts to improve the technical knowledge of rehabilitation technicians through a regional exchange program.[31] The ICRC SFD also supported CRAO in providing assistance to children, including mine/ERW survivors.[32]

The Kenia Psychiatric Center continued providing psychological support to mine survivors in 2011. Services were available both on site at the hospital and through outreach visits facilitated by CNAMS. However, the center lacked sufficient funding to provide transportation for the large number of survivors in need of services. Group therapy sessions were introduced for mine/ERW victims.[33]

New economic inclusion opportunities were available to survivors in 2011. ASVM, with the support of the ICRC, began supporting income generating initiatives for mine survivors.[34] Through a collaboration between ASVM and the Casamance Rural Development Support Project (PADERCA), mine/ERW survivors in the town of Diattacounda received support to establish a cooperative farm.[35] The Academic Center for Educational and Professional Orientation (Centre Académique de l’Orientation Scolaire et Professionnelle, CAOSP) of Ziguinchor began providing mine/ERW victims with educational and career advice specifically targeted and adapted to their needs.[36] The CNAMS economic inclusion program ended when funds provided as loans were not repaid and no new funding was available for additional loans.[37]

A new project on social inclusion of children affected by mines/ERW was established by HI, UNICEF and ASVM in 2011 to provide educational kits and improve their access to education.[38]

Senegalese law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of other state services. Government enforcement was somewhat effective in 2011. The law also mandated accessibility for persons with disabilities; however, this law lacked implementation and there was a lack of infrastructure to assist them.[39]

Senegal ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 7 September 2010. Through to the end of 2011, national implementation mechanisms had not yet been approved.[40]

 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty, Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form I.

[2] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, Head of Mission, Handicap International (HI), 16 April 2012; interview with Bakary Diedhiou, President, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and ICRC, 2011 Annual Report, Geneva, May 2012, p.175.

[3] In 2006, there were 18 casualties recorded, one in 2007, 24 in 2008, two in 2009, four in 2010, and 32 in 2011. See previous Monitor reports on Senegal for details, www.the-monitor.org.

[4] Statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 May 2012; and interview with Seyni Diop, Head of Victim Assistance and Mine Risk Education, CNAMS, 20 June 2012.

[5] The civil/military status of 13 casualties is unknown.

[6] The last confirmed casualties from ERW occurred in 2005. ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005), www.the-monitor.org.

[7] See previous country reports and country profiles in the Monitor, www.the-monitor.org; and HI, Voices from the Ground: Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak Out on Victim Assistance, Brussels, September 2009, pp. 167 & 168.

[8] HI, Voices from the Ground: Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak Out on Victim Assistance, Brussels, September 2009, pp. 167 & 168; response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; interview with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and interview with El Hadji Diakhate, Director, Ziguinchor Rehabilitation Center (CRAO), 19 April 2012.

[9] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; and interview with Dr. Adama Koundoul, Psychiatrist, Kenia Ziguinchor Hospital, 27 April 2012.

[10] HI, Voices from the Ground: Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak Out on Victim Assistance, Brussels, September 2009, pp. 167 & 168.

[11] Interview with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012.

[12] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; interview with Alphousseyni Gassama, Protection Officer, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16 May 2012; response to Monitor questionnaire by Malick Sarr, Director, Academic Center for Educational and Professional Orientation (Centre Académique de l’Orientation Scolaire et Professionnelle, CAOSP), 10 April 2012; Statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 May 2012; interview with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012; statement of Senegal, Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 1 December 2010; statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 June 2011; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form I.

[13] Statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 May 2012.

[14] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Malick Sarr, CAOSP, 10 April 2012; and Jean François Lepetit, HI, Ziguinchor, 16 April 2012.

[15] Interview with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012.

[16] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; and interview with Alphousseyni Gassama, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16May 2012.

[17] Interview with Alphousseyni Gassama, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16 May 2012.

[18] Statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 May 2012.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form I.

[22] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012. 

[23] Email of Mamady Gassama, Member, ASVM, 9 August 2012.

[24] Interview with Seyni Diop, CNAMS, 20 June 2012; and interviews with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012; Adama Koundoul, Kenia Ziguinchor Hospital, 27 April 2012; Alphousseyni Gassama, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16 May 2012; and Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; responses to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; and Abdoulaye Diedhiou, Assistant Head, HI, 16 March 2012; ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012; and US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Senegal,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[25] See table above and interviews with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and Alphousseyni Gassama, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16May 2012; and responses to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; and Malick Sarr, CAOSP, 10 April 2012.

[26] Interview with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and responses to Monitor questionnaire by Malick Sarr, CAOSP, 10 April 2012; and Abdoulaye Diedhiou, HI, 16 March 2012.

[27] Interview with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and responses to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012; and Malick Sarr, CAOSP, 10 April 2012.

[28] Interviews with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012.

[29] Interviews with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012; Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and Seyni Diop, CNAMS, 20 June 2012; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012.

[30] Interview with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012.

[31] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 22.

[32] Interview with El Hadji Diakhate, CRAO, 19 April 2012.

[33] Interview with Adama Koundoul, Kenia Ziguinchor Hospital, 27 April 2012.

[34] Interview with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Malick Sarr, CAOSP, 10 April 2012.

[37] Interview with Seyni Diop, CNAMS, 20 June 2012.

[38] Interviews with Bakary Diedhiou, ASVM, 28 March 2012; and Alphousseyni Gassama, UNICEF, Ziguinchor, 16 May 2012; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, 16 April 2012.

[39] US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Senegal,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[40] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Jean François Lepetit, HI, Ziguinchor, 16 April 2012; and Abdoulaye Diedhiou, HI, 16 March 2012.