The Gambia/Senegal border closure have taken a new dimension, with the ailing dictator Yahya Jammeh, making phone calls, appealing to the authorities in Dakar, to reopen the border in spirit of Sene-Gambian integration, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Mr. Jammeh is increasingly worried about the geo-political and economic ramifications the border closure could have caused to the already economically bankrupt Gambian nation. As such, Jammeh is not sitting on his laurels to watch by and see the nation to perish economically.
A top Jammeh aide, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity said The Gambian dictator has strongly regretted his actions, which resulted to the closure of the border. Jammeh, the official said, never factored that Senegal, was going to close the border in protest of the recently introduced exorbitant ferry tariff fares by his administration.
“Yahya Jammeh is just like a sick dog. He is completely confused. He never anticipated this type of reaction from Senegal. He has instructed the Foreign Ministry, including some so called respected Muslim elders to plead with the authorities in Dakar, to reopen the border. The border closure could spell economic riots in this country if not handled with care. Jammeh has shot himself on the foot. Almost all economic activities have virtually seized in this country due to the border closure. If the border is not reopen by next week, Jammeh is likely to fire some officials here. That I can tell you,” said our source.
“In fact, Jammeh has ordered the Daily Observer to be publishing stories—praising President Macky Sall, his government and the Senegalese people. This is not a laughing matter. We are doomed economically. Now it is loud and clear that Gambia’s economic nerve resides in the hands of Senegal. The ports has been reduced as a ghost ports. Never in the history of this country that business been this slow. Without a viable and functional ports and borders, The Gambia is doomed economically,” our source added.
Last week, a delegation from Banjul, visited Senegal to launch an appeal for the border to be reopened. But their repeated appeals felt into deaf ears. Dakar, is still adamant in closing the border.
Senegal’s national transport union insists that unless The Gambia reconsiders the exorbitant ferry tariffs, it would not avail itself to any border reopening negotiations. All Senegalese vehicles have been rerouted to travel via Tamba-Kunda instead of The Gambia since the border closure.
According to one official close to the management of The Gambia Ports authority, the border closure has resulted to a severe revenue loss on the side of the ports. The ports has witnessed a dramatic decline on its daily revenue collection.
“The ports and Gamtel run the Jammeh government. In the absence of vehicles crossing from Senegal, to The Gambia, this translates to no revenue for the government. We have incurred an economic loss of several millions of dalasi since the border was declared closed by Senegal. That’s why Yahya Jammeh is running like a dog to beg the Macky government to help reopen the border. The delegation reported to us that the Senegalese transport union closed the border, and not the government. That was the story, the government in Dakar, gave to the delegation from Banjul. They have promised to speak to the union so that the border can be reopened. We are all sitting here worried. There is no money coming in. The ports is virtually dead economically,” said the official.
Written By A Staff Writer