The people living at a border village called Trankil bordered by Kombo Darsilami are confused as to where there village belongs.
Gambians residing in the village believe the village is part of Darsilami and is the Gambia, so they pay their compound rates (tax) to the Alkalo of Darsilami, while the Senegalese residing there believe the village is in Senegal (Casamance) and they pay their compound rates (tax) to the Alkolo of Touba, a village 2 kilometres away from Trankil.
Some residents don’t pay to either side, because they don’t know where to. This confusion has been there for so many years and is still on.
Furthermore, what makes it more unsafe is the fact that both the Gambian and Senegalese armed forces have troops stationed less than a kilometre away from each other.
Since then the inhabitants are living in constant fear for their lives and properties, there can be an outbreak of violence between the two forces on the issue of the border.
The relationship between the people in that area is getting bitter; some don’t even talk to each other because of their border issue.
That being the case, we are calling on the government of the Gambia in consultation with Senegalese government to take a quick step in solving the problem once and for all, for the further security of both countries like what we’ve seen in other countries. People in that area don’t deserve to be left in that confusion.
However in trying to solve this issue government should only involve competent personnel who have the knowledge of the history of the Senegambia map, or even try to involve both France and Britain.
The Senegalo-Gambian border commission should be dissolved and new personnel be selected because they only succeeded in adding more confusion to the whole issue than solving it. Villages like Dimbaya and Bagiran are all affected.
Written by a Resident
A meeting between Gambia and Senegalese authorities and the Joint Border Commission in Tranquil on 7 October 2017