Independent from France in 1960, Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. However, the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. Despite peace talks, a southern separatist group sporadically has clashed with government forces since 1982. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania
14 00 N, 14 00 W
Population: 10,284,929 (July 2001 est.)
Area: total:  196,190 sq km
land:  192,000 sq km
water:  4,190 sq km
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
Terrain: generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast
Elevation: lowest point:  Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:  unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m

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