Gambia-Senegal borders closed for fourteen days now

Mustapha Jallow

It is fourteen days today since the official Gambia-Senegal border crossings started closing for all vehicular traffic following the Gambia-Senegal borders closed forintroduction of a new tariff imposed by the Gambian Customs on all Senegalese registered trucks to pay FCFA 400, 000 or more D26, 000 before entering the country and which their road transport unions are protesting against.

An official of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) told this reporter that they received a directive from their seniors that they should close down the Gambian side a few days after Senegal had closed theirs on 16 February 2016.

The GRA officer said the directive came after the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) visited the border in an attempt to look for a solution to the crisis, adding that both officials noted the urgency for the problem to be resolved which is in the best interest of both the Gambia and Senegal in terms of revenue collection.

This visit is what had prompted the GCCI to state earlier that the Gambian side of the border was not closed.

Visiting the Amdalai/ Karang border crossing on Saturday, 27 February, 2016, this reporter found the two sides still closed to vehicular traffic. Two small trucks on the Senegalese side were seen at the time offloading their goods and transferring them to another truck inside the Gambian territory.

At the Banjul-Barra crossing, there was only one ferry that was plying the route without any Senegalese registered vehicle.