Wood re-exporters boss says timber not coming from rebel zones

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Chairman of the Association of Wood Re-exporters and Forest Users in The Gambia has refuted allegation that timbers that enter the country are coming from rebel zones.

Lamin Barrow said it has been widely rumoured that the timbers coming into The Gambia are transported from Casamance rebel zone and others say the timber business is funding the Casamance rebels. “Others say Gambian timber dealers buy directly from the Casamance rebels, which is completely not true. This is what should be clear to the two presidents.”

According to Mr. Barrow, there was time when the Casamance rebels were selling timbers to Gambians but said that was six years ago, saying timbers are currently coming from Casamance but around the Fatoto border on the Southern part of The Gambia and that area is not a rebel zone.

“Currently, the timber coming from Casamance to The Gambia is not financing the rebels. The trade dealers within those communities are misleading both governments for their own interest because they don’t want to tell the truth to the two head of states (President Macky Sall and President Adama Barrow).”

Mr. Barrow said Gambian traders always buy timbers legally with correct documents, saying even the Department of Forestry can clarify that but said the two technical teams are misleading both governments who, he said are aware that timber trade is between communities surrounding the borders and the traders themselves.

He alleged that the two technical teams have misled both governments for reasons unknown to them but urged both governments to find solutions to end the illegal timber trade.