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Senegal:
Geography

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Senegal Page


Background
Definition
The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982, but the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until current President Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. He was reelected in February 2007, but complaints of fraud led opposition parties to boycott June 2007 legislative polls. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.
Location
Definition
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania
Geographic coordinates
Definition
14 00 N, 14 00 W
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 196,190 sq km
land: 192,000 sq km
water: 4,190 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 2,640 km
border countries: The Gambia 740 km, Guinea 330 km, Guinea-Bissau 338 km, Mali 419 km, Mauritania 813 km
Coastline
Definition
531 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
Definition
tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
Terrain
Definition
generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m
Natural resources
Definition
fish, phosphates, iron ore
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 12.51%
permanent crops: 0.24%
other: 87.25% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
1,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
39.4 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 2.22 cu km/yr (4%/3%/93%)
per capita: 190 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards
Definition
lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
Geography - note
Definition
westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal


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