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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Collapse of the Senegambian Confederation
Author:Hughes, Arnold
Periodical:Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Geographic terms:Senegal
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Inter-African Relations
Abstract:In December 1989, following several months of increasing friction, the Senegambia Confederation was formally dissolved. The Confederation came into being in February 1982, following the large-scale Senegalese intervention on behalf of the embattled Gambian government the previous summer, and, although a pragmatic response to an immediate crisis, was more loftily proclaimed as fulfilling the natural destiny of the peoples of Senegal and The Gambia. In the years following the signing of the treaty of confederation numerous protocols were agreed to, aimed at achieving closer if imprecisely defined political and economic union between the two countries. But even as these additional protocols were being implemented, a series of problems began to be encountered. These focused primarily on the issue of Gambian sovereignty, which was felt to be increasingly threatened by Senegalese demands for closer economic ties and eventual political evolution towards a unitary rather than a confederal State. At the same time, the confidence of the Gambian government recovered as memories of the 1981 coup attempt receded and its political authority was reestablished with the electorate. Clashing interpretations of confederation led to mutual disenchantment by 1989 and the shelving of the treaty in summer 1989 was soon followed by its formal dissolution. This paper examines the history of the eight-year relationship and relates it to the wider experience of inter-State integration in contemporary Africa. Notes, ref.