By Mustpaha Jallow
Mod K. Ceesay, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure (MoTWI), has on 24th February 2020, told Foroyaa that a Gambian delegation returned to Dakar-Senegal last night (23rd February) over the ongoing border talks.
According to him, the border talks by the two authorities were fruitful, as two delegates left to Dakar again on 22-24 February. He added that the Gambian delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by the Transport Minister and other senior government officials.
“The President sent an envoy to Dakar and the response we had is that the President of Senegal has committed that Senegal will fully respect the protocols. And instructed his Minster for Transport to liaise with his Gambian counterpart to resolve this matter immediately,’’ he made these statements at his office in Kanifing.
He added: “This is why my minister has to return to Dakar last-night (23rd February) for the matter. So, that’s where we are.’’
Omar Ceesay, the Gambia National Transport Union (GNTU) President explained that he was phoned by the PS at the Ministry of Transport to inform him about the positive development they have registered in their discussion with the Senegalese authorities.
He said their stand as a union, is for the Senegalese unions to respect the protocols their government has signed.
“We also understood that the Works minister returned to Dakar last-night, so we are waiting for his arrival and update us about the matter,’’ he said.
Few days ago, according to Ceesay, they had sensitisation programme with their members at the borders about the ECOWAS protocols and the agreement on ‘what the two countries signed’.
Alassane Ndoye – the Secretary General of National Confederation of Senegalese Workers, CNTS, one of the Senegalese road Transport Unions, confirmed that talks are ongoing between the two nations.
“The two authorities are still discussing over the matter and they will reach an agreement and nothing else,’’ he said.
However, the latest border crisis came when some Gambian commercial buses were stopped from continuing their journey to Dakar after crossing the border at Amdalai, this year.
Representatives of Senegalese road transport unions say they want what was happening in those days between the two nations to be re-established.
The reaction of the Gambian transport union in retaliation to the stoppage action of the Senegalese unionists was to restrict all Senegalese vehicles entering Gambia through the border points.
They had planned such action to take place on 19th February, 2020 but the plan was put to a hold to allow negotiation to take place, which is still going on.