The Gambia Transport Union (GTU) has vowed to shutdown the border and bar all Senegalese commercial vehicles from entering the Gambia as the disputes between the two countries unions escalate. 

The retaliatory stance comes after Gambian buses were barred from entering Senegal by members of that country’s transport union. 

GTU says it will start its retaliatory action from Wednesday February 19.

The head of the union Omar Ceesay told journalists that “on February 19 at 12am no Senegalese commercial vehicle will be allowed to enter the Gambia. And we do not care whether the vehicle is on transit or not. All what we are doing is to also protect our interest as a country.

“So the transport union in partnership with the drivers and vehicles owners starting from Wednesday 19 February 2020 will put stop to all Senegalese commercial vehicles entering the Gambia.”

Mr Ceesay added: “we are no more going to observe any ECOWAS protocol of free trade and movement of people because all what the Senegalese Transport Union has recently done by putting a blockage to our commercial passenger vehicles to enter their country is seen by their government. So, we are also going to protect our interest with no compromise.”

He said despite engaging their Senegalese counterparts in resolving the disputes “it all went futile as the Senegalese Transport Union didn’t respect Ecowas protocol”.

Mr. Ceesay blames the protracted disputes on his Senegalese counterparts who are refusing to budge on their demands. 

“We have used all humanitarian and diplomatic channels as a transport union to seek dialogue with the Senegalese Transport Union to address the issue amicably but what they normally tell us is if the issue of allowing your commercial vehicles to enter our borders brought you for negotiation then there is no need to come because your vehicles are not going to be allowed in.”

The Senegalese Transport Union has been contacted for comment. 

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

One Comment

  1. AvatarFabakary Badjie says:

    To my observation the Senegalese transport union is being used by the senegalese government as a pressure group for a possible demand to reduce tariffs or give them some more privileges and advantages to their vehicles that enter our territory. No one would believe a transport union can close borders in the existence of ecowas protocols and its government give a blind eye. Let’s see if the border closing will take effect by our useless transport union who have been copying everything from senegal and what the government’s reaction will be

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