Against the background of the low-intensity conflict that affects its Casamance region, Senegal should pay particular attention to its relations with its southern neighbour, Guinea-Bissau. Since 2000 Senegal has used its democratic legitimacy, diplomatic network and scarce resources to pursue a policy of influence and patronage towards a neighbour weakened by the war of 1998. In return, the Senegalese government has received special support from the Guinea-Bissau armed forces in its fight against secessionist rebel forces in Casamance. Far from being merely a representative of – or channel for – French or Western interests, under the leadership of Abdoulaye Wade Senegal showed its capacity for exercising a policy of influence in the West Africa sub-region and the African continent as a whole, albeit as a consequence of some favourable conditions, and with only limited financial resources.
Also available in French: Le Sénégal de Wade Face a la Guinée-Bissau: Paysfrère, Tuteur ou Hégémon?