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Monday, January 18, 2021

‘Gambia and Senegal must work together to solve timber saga’

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By Maimuna Sey-Jawo

The chairman of the Timber Dealers’ Association of The Gambia, Lamin Barrow, has called on the governments of The Gambia and Senegal to dialogue with a view to resolving the continuous timber saga between the two neighboring countries.

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“There are a lot of timber issues going on between the two countries. In fact, it’s among the issues hindering businesses between the countries. What we want is for the government to dialogue with their Senegalese counterpart in ensuring that the saga is addressed for the benefit of both countries.”

Since the change of government in 2016, dozens of Gambian trucks loaded with timbers have been intercepted by Senegalese authorities especially those at the Bwiam Military Checkpoint, mounted by the Senegalese forces. The Senegalese forces believe the timbers are being smuggled from Casamance.

The country’s timber dealer chairman in an exclusive interview told our reporter that the timber business is not functioning as expected as a result of the continuous closure of the business by the two governments. He said: “Every time closing does not help the Gambia and even the Senegalese government as well as the timber associations of both countries.”

“We want the government to meet with their Senegalese counterpart including the timber dealers of both countries to discuss on issues affecting the business. In fact, it’s part of our plan to ensure that we have a joint tree planting exercise where the Senegalese timber dealers and the Gambia timber dealers will meet every year during the rainy season to do afforestation to replace the lost trees.”

On the bilateral agreement meetings, Chairman Barrow challenged the Gambian government to change their direction on that, he said the government should try whenever they are going on any business bilateral agreement to involve the Gambian businessmen in their delegation, so that the businessmen can have a clear feature of what is possible and what is not possible, noting Senegal normally invites the businessmen whenever they are going on bilateral agreement, thus let the Gambia government consider the businessmen when going on such agreement. 

Barrow said that coronavirus has affected the whole world, saying as he is also involved in cashew business, thus he said the Indians who used to buy cashew were not here due to the closure of shipping and airline.

By Maimuna Sey-Jawo

The chairman of the Timber Dealers’ Association of The Gambia, Lamin Barrow, has called on the governments of The Gambia and Senegal to dialogue with a view to resolving the continuous timber saga between the two neighboring countries.

“There are a lot of timber issues going on between the two countries. In fact, it’s among the issues hindering businesses between the countries. What we want is for the government to dialogue with their Senegalese counterpart in ensuring that the saga is addressed for the benefit of both countries.”

Since the change of government in 2016, dozens of Gambian trucks loaded with timbers have been intercepted by Senegalese authorities especially those at the Bwiam Military Checkpoint, mounted by the Senegalese forces. The Senegalese forces believe the timbers are being smuggled from Casamance.

The country’s timber dealer chairman in an exclusive interview told our reporter that the timber business is not functioning as expected as a result of the continuous closure of the business by the two governments. He said: “Every time closing does not help the Gambia and even the Senegalese government as well as the timber associations of both countries.”

“We want the government to meet with their Senegalese counterpart including the timber dealers of both countries to discuss on issues affecting the business. In fact, it’s part of our plan to ensure that we have a joint tree planting exercise where the Senegalese timber dealers and the Gambia timber dealers will meet every year during the rainy season to do afforestation to replace the lost trees.”

On the bilateral agreement meetings, Chairman Barrow challenged the Gambian government to change their direction on that, he said the government should try whenever they are going on any business bilateral agreement to involve the Gambian businessmen in their delegation, so that the businessmen can have a clear feature of what is possible and what is not possible, noting Senegal normally invites the businessmen whenever they are going on bilateral agreement, thus let the Gambia government consider the businessmen when going on such agreement. 

Barrow said that coronavirus has affected the whole world, saying as he is also involved in cashew business, thus he said the Indians who used to buy cashew were not here due to the closure of shipping and airline.

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