Guinea-Bissau Part Closes Senegal Border Over Clashes

Guinea-Bissau’s President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, told AFP on Wednesday that he ordered the partial closure of the country’s border with Senegal following violent skirmishes between two Muslim populations.

The two groups in southern Senegal have long been at odds over control of the local grand mosque, accusing each other of being to blame for tensions that have resulted in multiple deaths in the past.

Conflicts between the two communities flared up during Eid on Monday in the holy town of Medina Gounass, which is only a few kilometers from Guinea-Bissau.

According to the Interior Ministry, one person died and approximately 20 people were injured.

President Embalo stated that following Monday’s skirmishes, “one of the communities (had) called in reinforcements” in Guinea-Bissau.

“I immediately decided to close this section of the border to prevent any further escalation of violence. “My country’s security forces are ensuring that this measure is strictly followed,” he said.

Senegal and Guinea-Bissau have a 300-kilometre (186-mile) border.

Medina Gounass, more than 500 km from Dakar, conducts an annual 10-day pilgrimage visited by thousands of Muslims.



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