By Nelson Manneh and Mustapha Jallow
The standoff between the Gambia and the sister republic of Senegal regarding the border village of Tranquil still continues, and some residents who have settled in the village earlier, said Tranquil is within the territory of Senegal while others claim the contrary.
On a joint mission yesterday by these two reporters, it was found that Senegal currently has some development projects going on in the village. Some of these projects are a clinic, a bank and a primary school.
Electrical poles with cables different from what NAWEC uses here in the Gambia could be seen in the streets of the village. These reporters found that a Gendarmerie station with the Senegalese flag flying above a flag pole was already stationed in Tranquil village.
Villagers who spoke to the two reporters indicated that no demarcation had been made since the two governments met to discuss the issue in November 2015.
The villagers said that their children attend school in the nearby village of Darsilameh in The Gambia and they fetch water from the village well.
One deeply concerned villager said: “We want to know whether we are in Senegal or in the Gambia. The two governments should come together and do the demarcation so that we can be free to live our lives as normal citizens of a state with republican values,” he urged.
One of the Senegalese military officers who spoke to these two ‘Foroyaa’ reporters said: “We are just here for a mission and I cannot justify whether Tranquil is in Gambian or Senegalese territory. We were posted here on command and that is all I know.’’
The area claimed by the governments of the two sister states used to be a vast farmland according to the elders of the village; that villagers from Darsilameh village used to farm in the area until some of them began to settle there.
It could be recalled that on the 11th November, 2015, the authorities of the two sister countries together with the Senegalo-Gambian joint border commission, met at Tranquil village to inform villages of a lasting solution to the border dispute. However the demarcation could not take place on that day.
Foroyaa will enquire from the relevant authorities what the recommendations of the joint border commission are and whether any decision has been taken.