The dispute between the Gambian and Senegalese authorities started as a result of increment in tariffs. The Senegalese transport unions resisted the payment of tariffs imposed by the Gambian authorities. Gambian authorities claimed that they were reciprocating the tariff imposed on Gambian trucks by Senegal.
The reaction of the Senegalese government was to lend support to the transport unions by restricting the movements of vehicles across the borders. This slowed down the movements of persons, goods and services across the border, thus undermining trade between the two countries and beyond.
Many initiatives were taken to settle the border dispute but to no avail. However, the arrival of President Alpha Conde of Guinea appears to have accelerated the negotiations between the two governments.
Gambian authorities went to Senegal and it is claimed that the Senegalese authorities will also come to Banjul.
Apparently, some sort of shuttle diplomacy is being carried out by President Conde who is to return to Banjul on the 2 June 2016 possibly to review the progress made.
It is evident from the issues being dealt by the parties during the negotiations that the discussion is beyond the question of tariff. Apparently, many issues are also emerging such as the stalling of the building of the bridge.
Foroyaa will begin to find out what the substantive issues are and whether the issue is restricted to the border closure alone or is being expanded to cover all outstanding challenges between the two countries.