Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Jammeh has no respect for ECOWAS, therefore nothing to negotiate" says Senegalese Drivers' Union president

Sabi - Vellingara desolate border post
As the Gambia-Senegal border closure enters Week 8, tempers continue to flare and the rhetoric growing louder as the toll on the economies of both countries, but more so on the Gambian side, continue to rise.

In reaction to Jammeh's decision to take the matter to the ECOWAS Commission, the president of the Senegalese Drivers' Union questions the motive behind Gambia;s complaint since, according to him Jammeh has no respect for the regional body because of his constant flouting of the bi-lateral agreement between the two countries.

The main source of the Drivers' Union's frustrations is Jammeh's dictatorial attitude towards the established rules governing tariff management and regulations.  Although prior consultations are required, Jammeh always acts on his whims without consulting his Senegalese partners.

The Union boss has ruled out any negotiations and has urged the government of Senegal to stay out of the problem.  Its membership views this problem as a purely transport union matter.   According to the union, the matter goes beyond unilateral increases in tariff without notice or consultation but also the refusal to accept local currency, the dalasi, the legal tender in The Gambia.

Meanwhile the ECOWAS mission that visited Banjul early in the week is already in the Senegalese capital of Dakar to get the other side of a story that promises to be a long drawn out affair.