By Mustapha Jallow
The official border crossing at Amdalaye-Karang is now busy with
vehicular traffic as the three months long border closure imposed by Senegal
was lifted on Tuesday, 24 May 2016.This and all the other border crossings linking the Gambia andneighbouring Senegal were closed since 16 February 2016 after the
Senegalese road transport unions protested against what they called a
‘unilateral and exorbitant increase of the tariff’ imposed by Gambian
customs on Senegal registered trucks without prior notice or

In a brief telephone interview with Jim Ngom, a Senegalese transport
union leader at Karang, he confirmed to this reporter that the border
has been re-opened and that all categories of vehicles are freely
crossing the two sides of the border. He said the incident is now
history but added that the two countries must see it as a lesson which
they should learn from and avoid its recurrence.

The transport union leader said all the trucks that were stranded at
the border and loaded with goods destined for the Gambia are now
crossing freely. “The blockade has now come to an end and people are
moving about happily in large numbers,” he said.

A senior official of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) at the border
also confirmed the re-opening of the Senegalese side of the border
which has been closed to all types of vehicles leaving or entering for
more than three months now.

The border crisis was triggered by Senegalese road transport unions
who were protesting against a new tariff imposed by the Gambian
Customs and which obliges every truck to pay FCFA 400, 000 (which is
more than D26, 000) besides the FCFA1000 they have been paying for
every ton of goods carried by their vehicles. These union
representatives reported that they were not consulted and that this
was unacceptable.