Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gambia submits new border proposal to Senegal, negotiations could start as early as next week according to Senegal's Foreign Minister

After the borders between the two countries have been closed for 10 weeks following the arbitrary and unilateral 10,000% tariff increase by Yaya Jammeh, the Senegalese Foreign Minister has announced that Gambia has submitted a new proposal for Senegal's consideration.

Although the details of the proposal have not been revealed, it is believed to contain assurances from the Gambian dictator that implementation of the bridge project will resume after it was abruptly stopped before commencement of  project mobilization.

Resumption of the bridge project has been a primary demand of the Senegalese Transport Union that has led the boycotting of the TransGambia route that led to the border closure.

The bridge over the Gambia River to replace the inefficient ferries that currently transport traffic from the northern to the southern half of the country to allow the flow of traffic from northern Senegal to the southern region of Casamance is a project that is being jointly financed by the two countries with the AfDB as a lead financier.

Jammeh has shown reluctance to implement the project because of what he sees as surrendering a security leverage because of the extraterritorial character the bridge will have as part of the ECOWAS highway system connecting Abuja to most of the capital cities across the region.  There are also security considerations that is causing Jammeh to flip-flop on the issue.

In announcing the new Gambian proposal, the Senegalese Foreign Minister is quoted in online news website seneweb.com saying that Senegal's diplomatic orientation has always been a policy of good neighborliness towards The Gambia.

He continued by suggesting that negotiations could start as early as next week in Dakar to discuss the proposal which Gambia submitted three days ago according to the Foreign Minister.