Gambia reopens borders with Senegal

2014-04-26 10:29
Gambia President Yahya Jammeh (Picture: AFP)

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Banjul - The Gambia reopened its borders with Senegal on Friday, ending a week-long diplomatic stand-off between the west African neighbours, officials said.

The move came just four days after security sources told AFP that President Yahya Jammeh had ordered the closure of all official crossing points into the Gambia's only neighbour.

No explanation was given for either decision.

"The orders were given this morning by the government. That's all I can say. For now, I cannot tell you why they were opened," a government official said on condition of anonymity.

Jammeh made the decision to close the border during a 21-day "country-wide dialogue with the people tour" launched on 17 April, an official from the National Intelligence Agency told AFP on Monday.

The Gambia, a country of about 1.8 million, is a finger of territory flanking the Gambia River, with Senegal on either side and a narrow Atlantic coastline.

"We just saw [Gambian border police] lift up the barrier and vehicles started going in and out. There are no strange conditions," said Ousman Drammeh, president of the Gambia Transport Union, of the re-opening.

The closure came less than a week after Senegalese hauliers ended a month-long border blockade against Gambian vehicles in protest over transit rights which they say have been decided unilaterally by Gambian authorities.

Jammeh, 48, is often pilloried for taking unilateral and seemingly impetuous decisions as well as for rights abuses and the muzzling of the press.

In March, he said the former British colony would be dropping English as its official language and in 2008, he gave an ultimatum to gays and lesbians to leave his country, saying he would "cut off the head" of any homosexual found in the Gambia.

Two years ago, the European Union cancelled $30m of aid because of concerns over human rights and governance issues.

Read more on:    yahya jammeh  |  senegal  |  gambia  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.