The official border crossing at Kerr Ali / Kerr Ayip in the Gambia and
Senegal respectively has reopened for vehicular traffic from both
sides on Tuesday, 24 May, after having been closed since 16 February2016 as a result of protest by Senegalese road transport unions
against a new tariff of FCFA 400,000 (over D26,000) introduced by
Gambian customs on all Senegal registered trucks.
This protracted border closure which lasted for more than three months
has not only affected the movement of transports, slowed down trade
between small and medium size economic operators in the two countries
but also the revenues derived by the customs and ferry services.
Talking to Amadou Sowe, a Senegalese petit trader at border, he
described the reopening of border as long overdue, adding that the
impasse has seriously affected them.
“Whatever the case, the authorities in the two countries should be
engaging in frank discussions in order to iron out any differences but
should not be using the border as a means of solving their problems to
the detriment of their two populations,” appealed Mr. Sowe.
He advised that the two the governments should be consulting each other on
matters regarding the border such as tariffs or complaints from their
citizens with a view to amicably resolving disputes but never to
resort to the closing of the borders.
Ebrima Ndoye, a driver, also called on the Gambian and Senegalese
governments to learn from the untold suffering and hardship
experienced by the people during the past three months and avoid its
“As drivers of commercial vehicles who transport passengers and
vehicles to and from the border, our work was virtually brought to a
standstill by the closure as there was no traffic and customers,” he
He added that this situation has affected their sources of income to
maintain their families and households.
An official of the ferry services at the Bamba Tenda/Yeli Tenda
informed this reporter that the crossing point is back to life as the
Senegalese vehicles have now started coming.