According to the1986 Pear’s Cyclopaedia, “Senegambia” was formed in 1982 as a union of Senegal and Gambia. The two countries appear to have separated again, but I don’t remember anything in the news about it. So when and why did they split?
I don’t have all the details, but a quick search turned up that in 1981 there was a coup in Gambia that was put down with Senegalese troops. After suppressing the revolters the two countries entered into a confederacy in 1982 ( with a Senegalese garrison remaining ). By 1989 however the Gambian unhappiness with the situation and some diplomatic quarrels came to a head. Consequently the confederation was dissolved and the Senegalese garrison withdrew.
As far as I know, Senegambia was never more than a confederation - it was never a country in its own right, although the original plan appears to be that it would eventually become one.
The word is still sometimes used as a shorthand term for the two countries, though.
So it appears that Senegal wanted unification but Gambia did not, so the deal was broken.
The Confederal Document of Senegambia. – It is amazing what Google can find.
They would have been joined at the hip if this deal had gone through. Interesting.
Yes, I did try a very quick look at Google, without finding anything. It’s often more interesting to hear what people on the boards have to say about a given topic, and it also gives people a chance to find out about things they hadn’t heard about. As you say, Derleth, that document is interesting. If I had done a full google search you wouldn’t have found out about it today, would you? Anyway, thanks for the answers everyone.