AFRICA/SENEGAL - Crisis between Gambia and Senegal: the Archbishop of Dakar calls for reconciliation

Thursday, 12 May 2016 bishops  

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Dakar, Mgr. Benjamin Ndiaye, urged the faithful to pray for reconciliation between Senegal and Gambia, during the celebration of the 50th World Day of Social Communications and Africa Day, on Sunday May 8th.
Tensions between Banjul and Dakar erupted when Senegalese truck drivers refused to carry goods to Gambia after the government of this country increased the rate for trucks crossing its territory from 4,000 CFA francs to 400,000.
Gambia is a small country that bisects Senegal for two-thirds; Senegalese truck drivers found it convenient to bring goods from one side of Senegal to another. Senegalese trucks now take a longer route passing through Tambacounda, Vélingara and Kolda to reach Casamance.
Goods destined to Gambia, including food, are now blocked.
The government of Banjul has accused the government of Dakar of having established a trade blockade against it and has filed a complaint with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The latter, after submitting its own commission of inquiry in the two Countries, however, has rejected the accusations of Gambia, calling them baseless. Senegalese President Macky Sall has rejected the proposal of mediation advanced by the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, saying that the crisis was caused by the regime of Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/05/2016)