Every 4 April is celebrated as Independence Day in Senegal. It is the day when Senegal joined French Sudan (now Mali) in a federation in 1959. This was a federation that was still under French colonial control, so Senegal was not independent, nor was Mali.
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Even though it is not really the day when Senegal became independent or declared independence, 4 April remains as the official Senegalese Independence Day.
Senegal had been the home of numerous warring tribal kingdoms, many of which sold other Africans as slaves to Europeans on the nearby “trade island” of Goree. However, after the French abolished slavery and the slave trade in the 1850’s, they began invading inland Senegal and ending slavery everywhere their armies conquered.
However, the region remained under the heavy handed rule of colonialism. It was on 20 June, 1960 that Senegal and Mali, still in union, became independent. And that same year, but a few months later, Senegal and Mali both declared their independence from each other.