Casamance ( _pt. Casamança) is the area of
Senegalsouth of The Gambiaincluding the Casamance River. It consists of Basse Casamance (Baixa Casamança [Lower Casamance] ) ( Ziguinchor Region) and Haute Casamance (Alta Casamança [Upper Casamance] ) (Kolda Region). Ziguinchoris its largest town.
Low-lying and hot, with some hills to the southeast, the economy of the Casamance relies largely on
ricecultivation and tourism. It also has excellent beaches along its coastline, particularly at Cap Skirring.
The Jola are the dominant
ethnic groupin the Casamance, though they are economically disadvantaged as a whole in Senegal. Their economic condition has contributed to a separatist movement for the independenceor autonomy of the Casamance, Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) . The Casamance Conflicthas, 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
1888between the French colony of Senegal and Portuguese Guinea(now Guinea-Bissau) to the south, Portuguese losing the possession of Casamance, then the commercial hub of their colony. Casamance, to this day, has preserved the local variant of Kriol known as Ziguinchor Creole and the members of 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
rainfallgreater than the rest of Senegal.
* [http://www.casamance.net/index.htm Casamance.net] fr icon
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