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Monday, September 28, 2020

Mounting concerns over cross-border activities in Farafenni area

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By Momodou Darboe

ears have been mounting around the Farafenni/Sabach San jal side of the Senegal/ Gambia border as communities in the area continue to express concerns over the cross-order movements of people.

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The urban Gambia is currently convulsing from coronavirus infections and fatalities as it continues to be the hotbed of the virus spread but residents of the North Bank Region’s border villages around Farafenni have been warning of developments in their part of the country with potential of exposing an entire area to the contagion.

The Standard has learnt from residents that the inadequacy of boots and men around that side of the common border was making it increasingly difficult to police. Sources say movements of people between Farafenni and Senegalese border settlements continue without let. “I’m profoundly concerned about the uncontrolled movement of people across the border here around Sabach Sanjal and other settlements,” a native of Ngaiyen told The Standard.

Many residents of the area, who spoke to this medium, have been wondering why it was still difficult for the authorities to curtail the movements of people along that part of the shared border.

However, enforcement by the resource-starved security forces as well as farmlands and the growing economic significance of Farafenni to the border villages were reported as some of the reasons for the violations of the emergency border control measures.

“Farafenni is a commercial hub and attracts people from Sabach Sanjal and neighbouring villages on the Senegalese side of the border on almost daily basis,” a concerned resident of Farafenni told this reporter. “Besides, many people also cross over to this area for their farming activities due to its proximity to the border. ‘ Meanwhile, some residents of the area have also resorted to local radio phone in programmes to vent out their concerns and fears over the activities at the border around Farafenni. The Standard made several efforts to reach the authorities but to no avail.

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