Panafrican News Agency

Senegal: Francophonie to help Senegal find peace in Casamance

Ziguinchor, Senegal (PANA) – The Francophonie Ministerial Conference of Youth and Sports (CONFEJES) opened a five-day meeting here Tuesday on the theme 'Ziguinchor, youth actions, sports, peace and citizenship' in a bid to contribute to a definitive return to peace in the southern Senegal region of Casamance, which has been affected by civil war for over 30 years.

The meeting is taking place ahead of the 15th Francophonie Summit scheduled for 29-30 November in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.

Consultations and training sessions for the youth on citizenship, peace and stability are planned for this session.

At the opening ceremony, chaired by Senegalese Youth, Employment and Citizenship minister Mame Mbaye Niang, CONFEJES’s General Secretary Ali Harouna Bourama said through these activities, the participants will benefit from entrepreneurial and resources skills that will help their social and economic participation in the community.

According to Bourama, youth actions, sports, peace and citizenship constitute a model that was developed successfully in Congo, Guinea, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Burkina Faso.

“They are meant to optimize the potential of creativity of the youth and to give substance to their legitimate aspirations to peace and a better living through a structured programme in a perspective of empowerment and social cohesion," he said.

Bourama noted that Ziguinchor was the right choice for the meeting in view of the need for the Francophonie to accompany Senegal, mainly the youth and women, in their engagement to attain a definitive return to peace in Casamance.

Though a victim of civil war that broke out 30 years ago in an aermed rebellion for regional independence, Casamance is very rich in agricultural and tourist potential.
-0- PANA MAD/IS/NA/AR 11Nov2014