Omar Ceesay, the president of General Transport Union (GTU), has expressed dissatisfaction with the Senegalese authorities over borders issues, affirming that these border issues are not caused by the Senegalese Transport Union, but the government.
The General Transport Union boss was speaking in an interview with this reporter on Monday at his office in Banjul. He said they have been facing serious challenges with their counterparts regarding transportation of passengers and goods, adding that as union, they are engaging the government of The Gambia over the issue, because"we have a protocol in place, and we all know that these two countries have bilateral agreements, but this was not respected. So we are urging our government to engage their counterparts seriously because the challenges we are facing are affecting our income."
Mr Ceesay said Senegal is gaining more on a daily basis while The Gambia is losing. "So we are urging government to look into this, because if you have the ECOWAS Protocol, you are free to move without any problem," he said, adding that as union, they wanted to close the border in 2018, but the government came in and resolved the matter through diplomatic channel, which the other party is not respecting.
"So we don't know what is happening, but still we are giving them chance to continue engaging in a peaceful way, and this time, if they cannot solve the matter, then we can solve it as a union," he noted.
According to Ceesay, both the two countries' unions are discussing to find a way out to solve the issue and they agreed on a point.
He said two months ago, both unions signed a MoU to work together in order to promote the ECOWAS protocol and to promote the free movement of people and goods within the sub region.However, he said, the challenges at the border are not the union of Senegal's making but the government. He added that the Senegalese government is using communities of Karang and other border communities as a tool against Gambia.
GTU President said there is no union which has the power to close a border without the involvement of government, adding it is the government of Senegal which allowed them to do that. "As Gambians, we need to come together and fight for this, and protect our interest as Gambians."