Separatist rebels in Senegal’s southern Casamance region have released seven soldiers who they captured last month.
The soldiers were captured on 24 January during a clash with the MFDC separatists, in which four other soldiers were killed.
They were handed over to a representative of the West African regional bloc Ecowas in The Gambia on Monday, according to a statement by the Senegalese army.
The Senegalese army said that the soldiers appeared to be in good health.
The troops had been part of Ecowas peacekeeping mission deployed in The Gambia for the past five years.
The Senegalese army said they had been captured in The Gambia – denying allegations that they were seized by the rebels after crossing to Casamance to pursue the separatists.
The Casamance region, which has a distinct culture and language, has been at the centre of a long-running conflict.
It is is separated geographically from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia River.
Original story on The Star