Tensions diminish in Senegal-Gambia border dispute
(16 June 2016)
Negotiators have appeared to resolve a border management dispute that, for four months, had significantly impacted the flow of goods across the Senegal-Gambia border.
From February to May a border blockade between The Gambia and Senegal caused food shortages and skyrocketing prices in The Gambia as well as major impact on businesses in both countries. Senegalese drivers blockaded the frontier to protest a 100-fold increase in the charge to cross Gambian territory. The hike was later reversed but the blockage remained, forcing travellers and truckers to take a 500 kilometre detour around The Gambia in order to access the southern region of Casamance.
The dispute ended at the end of May after intense negotiations were held on May 15 in Dakar mediated by Guinean President Alpha Conde and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The compromise called for Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to commence construction of the Trans-Gambia bridge. This $90 million, 942 meter bridge, to be funded by the African Development Bank, will facilitate movement across the 25 kilometre width of Gambia, providing a quick connection between the two portions of Senegal.