AFRICA/GAMBIA - Trade with Senegal continues to be blocked, there is a lack of primary goods

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Banjul (Agenzia Fides) - Negotiations between Gambia and Senegal to solve the blocking of cross-border transport which for three months have been preventing trade between the two countries have failed. As previously reported (see Fides 12/05/2016), Senegalese truck drivers are refusing to carry freight in Gambia after the government of this country has increased the rate for trucks crossing its territory from 4,000 CFA francs to 400,000.
Despite the backtrack of the Banjul government, which restored the old rates, truck drivers continue the blockade.
Truck drivers in particular demand the permanent opening of the border (which at the moment is closed between 7 pm and 7 am) and the construction of a new bridge over the River Gambia which would shorten the path of several kilometers between the north and south of Senegal.
Negotiations between the two sides are expected to resume in July. In the meantime, both countries suffer from a lack of essential goods transported by land. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/05/2016)