By Abdoulie John
Senegal’sTransport Union Secretary General, Gora Khouma, has decried the ongoing situation prevailing at Karang border post, calling out the Senegalese side for applying a double standard policy. He urged Senegalese authorities to make sure that law and order prevail along the country’s border.
“Mali, Guinea Conackry and Guinea Bissau plated vehicles continue to cross our borders on daily basis. I don’t understand why should Gambia be an exception,” Gora Khouma told this medium in an exclusive interview.
Two weeks back, a group of drivers prevented Gambian buses from getting into Senegal, arguing they are facing huge losses due to their activity. The move caused major traffic and travel disruptions between the two countries. Subsequently, efforts are being mounted in Senegal and Gambia to find a solution.
Khouma said the ECOWAS Protocol is very clear on the movement of people and goods. “We cannot continue to act out of ECOWAS rules!” he exclaimed.
He then added that people should always bear in mind that Gambia did a lot for Senegal, citing the bridge where Senegalese are paying the same amount of money.
“I will not be ungrateful. The bridge is inside Gambian territory, and we are enjoying preferential treatment,” he said while struggling to hide his frustration with the current situation.
The Gambia and Senegal are tied together within the historical and geographical contexts.
Khouma also spoke at length about a meeting that was held last December during which he reminded the gathering to keep the momentum alive.
“The licences that were issued to drivers in Gambia and Senegal constitute a giant step towards strengthening ties between the two nations,” he remarked.
He raised suspicions about hidden forces that are bent on destroying the good relationship that Gambians and Senegalese have been enjoying.
“I suspect that some of these drivers are under their influence,” he added. “There is no small country. Respecting each other is the leitmotiv in peaceful coexistence.”