Africa

Senegal's Casamance gets tourism boost after France lifts warning

A beach in Senegal's Casamance province Image copyright AFP
Image caption Casamance, which neighbours The Gambia, is famous for its beautiful beaches

France has scrapped a travel advisory of more than 25 years which urged its citizens not to travel to Senegal's coastal region of Casamance.

The decision has spurred hopes that Casamance's beaches will attract French holiday-makers, giving the tourist industry a boost.

Improved security meant that French citizens could now visit the region, France's embassy in Senegal said.

Casamance had been hit by unrest linked to a separatist group since 1982.

Once home to a thriving tourist industry, Casamance is separated from the capital, Dakar, by The Gambia.

It is home to numerous ethnic groups, including many Christians, while northern areas are dominated by three, largely Muslim communities.

Violence has waned since a 2014 ceasefire agreed between the government and separatist rebels.

There has been a push to clear land mines from the region over the last few years.

The BBC's Abdourahmane Dia in Dakar says the French decision will be welcomed by the government of Senegal, which has long called for France to scrap the travel warning.

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