Arab Today, arab today gambia senegal hold border blockade talks
Last Updated : GMT 12:09:32
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Economic Community of West African

Gambia, Senegal hold border blockade talks

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Gambia, Senegal hold border blockade talks

Travelers stop along the Senegalese-Gambia border in the town of Keur Ayip
Karang (Senegal) -Arab Today

Senegal and The Gambia will hold talks on Sunday aimed at ending a three-month border blockade that has created shortages of essential daily items on both sides of the frontier.

Gambian authorities slapped a hundred-fold hike on fees for trucks entering its territory -- which is completely surrounded by Senegal -- without warning in February, infuriating Senegalese drivers who are now blockading the border.

Since then, Senegalese and Gambians alike have suffered shortages and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has waded in to mediate the dispute, so far without success.

Exacerbating tensions, a long-promised bridge across the river that takes up most of The Gambia's territory has been delayed for decades, though is now due to be completed in 2017.

"This is the sixth blockade since 2000... we are demanding the border be opened at all hours, not closed every day between 7 pm and 7 am, and a bridge," Pape Seydou Dianko, a well-known figure among Senegal's militant transport unions, told AFP last week in the sleepy Senegalese border town of Karang where a long line of trucks sat idle.

Dianko and his allies pose a headache for the two countries' foreign ministers whose meeting in Dakar will be the first official talks on the topic since the border was effectively sealed off to commercial traffic.Although the Gambian authorities have since reverted to their original tariff, years of bad-tempered exchanges at the border have taken their toll, and Senegal's deliverymen are still refusing to allow the free passage of goods.

The result is a 500-kilometre (310-mile) detour around Gambian territory from Senegal's northern cities in order to access the rural southern region of Casamance.

"The detour is tough but it's the price to pay for the endless hassle from the Gambian police and customs officers," said Senegalese transporter and trade unionist Baby Toure at the Keur Ayib border post.

- 'Tired' of blockade -

Senegalese media reported last month that power outages have become ever more frequent in the Gambian capital due to a lack of fuel.

"In The Gambia, people are tired of the blockade. We are short of many items, including salt. This situation has to be resolved," said one resident of the Gambian border village Keur Ali, who asked not to be named.

Senegalese driver Modou Gueye found himself stuck in Keur Ali by the closure, and had to leave his vehicle where it stood. Although the blockade applies to all commercial vehicles, passengers are still allowed to cross."My truck, which is full of fabric, has been stuck here for three months," he said, while his colleagues reported being forced to rent properties to store their goods.

Gambians are well-used to such deprivations: in 2005 a months-long blockade over ferry tariffs by Senegalese truckers left Gambians with a shortage of bottled butane and no cement, devastating its construction industry and driving up food prices.

The dispute flared up again in 2014 when Senegal shut the frontier for several weeks.

On Friday, Senegal's foreign minister said he was "ready" to discuss the current border dispute, which although has never received official backing by Dakar, has never been publicly condemned.

Source :AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today gambia senegal hold border blockade talks Arab Today, arab today gambia senegal hold border blockade talks

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today gambia senegal hold border blockade talks Arab Today, arab today gambia senegal hold border blockade talks

 



Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Mai Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan
Arab Today, arab today Sally Shaheen considers hosting a political show
View News in Arabic - Business: أخبار الاقتصاد
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday