#Article (Archive)

Border closure talks: we want positive results

May 16, 2016, 10:09 AM

Our political decision makers are presently in Dakar, Senegal, talking to find a solution to the Gambia-Senegal border impasse, which has lasted for about four months now.

It is good to talk, but it is better to come up with a fruitful result, which is the hope and prayer of our two peoples, who are really feeling the pinch of this unfortunate situation.

Whilst The Senegalese foreign minister leading the Senegalese delegation has appealed to the two countries to find a lasting solution and respect the agreements they signed in the past, the Gambian Foreign minister has raised the fact that the border closure won’t augur well for both countries, especially as the Ramadan is fast approaching; hence the border should be reopened to help the populations of both nations.

With these words from these senior government officials from both countries, it is really expected that this problem should be solved for good.

This is because the border impasse between The Gambia and Senegal is causing serious harm to the two sister nations and the sub-region by the day and the month, as the people and economies of both nations are gravely affected.

In general, the border closure has seriously affected business in the two nations, particularly hitting hard on people directly surviving on the cross border and transit trade.

Whilst the cross border trade is affected, businesses run by Senegalese, Gambians and other nationals across the borders of the two nations are seriously hampered, our economies are also starved of much-needed revenue and the people’s livelihood is thwarted.

So many commercial trucks transiting through neighbouring countries, including The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Mauritania and others are stuck.

And while business transactions are hindered, the economies of these countries are also deprived of revenues from such activities as the Inter-State Road Transit trade (ISRT) in the region.

Every month our economies are losing millions of Dalasis and FCFA. This does not yield any good growth or development for the two nations, as much as it is also seriously affecting neighbouring countries like Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, and even Sierra Leone.

We therefore want positive results from the on-going talks in Dakar.

‘‘To Jaw-jaw is better than to war-war!’’

Winston Churchill