I find the concept of Sovereignty and Independence strange. At the smallest non-individual level sits the family. Despite almost as close a foundation as you can get my brothers, and my parents do not view the world in the same way as I do. It rhymes, but we push each others buttons. A friend of mine says, 'your family push your buttons because they are the ones who installed them'.
The French Colonies of Senegal and French Sudan merged in 1959.
In 1960, they got independence as the Mali Federation.
The union broke up a few months later.
In 1982, Senegal and The Gambia merged to form Senegambia.
The union dissolved in 1989.
Separatists in the Southern Region (Casamance) have clashed with Government since.
I am more convinced that Independence has less to do with Empowerment, and more to do with power. Nation building is the process of creating power bases by building walls. We need to learn the lesson of respecting differences taught by heavy footed imperialism, and the lesson of not over-valuing differences taught by heavy handed nationalism.