“African tradition” and conflict resolution

A Senegalese case study
By Vincent Foucher

Female shrines have been playing a growingly visible role in the peace process in Casamance over the last few years, calling for peace and organizing ritual ceremonies. Though this movement claims to derive its strength from the local cultural tradition, its emergence is better explained in reference to other elements, international, national and local: the paradigms and financing of the donor community; the stand-off between the Senegalese army and the separatist fighters; the multiple instrumentalizations which the reference to the shrines can allow. This case calls into question the hopes frequently placed in “two track diplomacy.”


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