Tuesday, December 5

Senegalo-Gambia Secretariat meets security heads

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The Executive Secretary Ambassador El-Hadj Ibou Boye, the Deputy Executive Secretary Ambassador Dr Cherno Omar Barry, and the Director of Trade and Economic Affairs, Mr. Momodou Lamin Cham went to the Amdallai / Karang border on 19 October and met the Senegalese heads of Police and Immigration and the Gambian heads of Police, Immigration, State Intelligence Service, and Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The objective of the meeting was to present to the concerned authorities the conclusions of the last Presidential Council and then to collect information on the challenges and expectations of the said authorities concerning the various users of the Amdallai / Karang corridor (travellers, traders, business people, transporters of goods in transit) in terms of documentation and compliance with the procedures established in both countries. This joint meeting will allow the Secretariat to organise sensitisation meetings with the corridor users complaining about the recurring harassment experienced when crossing the border.

During the meeting, both parties presented shared challenges and experiences related to the border and suggested recommendations. The highlights of the meeting are the concerns related to lack of equipment to scan trucks in transit, missing or inadequate documentation by small businesspeople buying goods from one side and bringing them to the other side, resolving the issue of stolen cars sold to customers from one side only to realise that the car was in the database of the other country, the lack of courtesy of junior staff towards higher authorities crossing the border, the transportation of prohibited goods, hot pursuit issues, and the ambiguous border demarcation and delimitation.

In the concluding remarks, heads of security of each country present acknowledged the cordial relationship maintained between the staff of both countries and constant consultations made to effectively and efficiently conduct their duties. They commended each other for the collaboration and support they gave each other in the spirit of a unique Senegambia and expressed profound gratitude to the Secretariat for the initiative. They acknowledged that the joint meeting has reinforced their cooperation stance and strengthened their resolve to cooperate better as commanded by their respective heads of state. They encouraged the Secretariat to continue sensitising the corridor users and citizens around the border to address many other highlighted issues happening at the border.

One of the core mandates of the Senegalo Gambia Permanent Secretariat is to help implement the resolutions of the Joint Border Commission and to sensitise the population on matters relating to peaceful coexistence between the two populations. Other visits would be conducted to all the other border posts and areas with potential conflict on border matters. The peaceful cooperation and mutually beneficial collaboration of the two countries is a priority the Secretariat is tasked to nurture.