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Senegal, Mali talk to open common borders

The two countries are working to restore normal traffic on the Dakar-Bamako corridor, which was interrupted following a traffic accident…

The two countries are working to restore normal traffic on the Dakar-Bamako corridor, which was interrupted following a traffic accident that killed four people on August 15 in Kaolack, in central Senegal.Senegal and Mali are two countries linked by history and geography. Together, they formed the Federation of Mali. This common past justifies, according to a joint communiqué, “the excellent bilateral relations” between Senegal and its eastern neighbor.

Ministerial delegations from both countries held a meeting on Tuesday, August 24 in Diamniadio (on the outskirts of Dakar) to lay the groundwork for an immediate resumption of road traffic on both sides.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mansour Faye, Senegalese Minister of Infrastructure, Land Transport and Opening-up and his Malian counterpart, Madina Sissoko Dembele.

At the end of the discussions, the authorities called on transport actors and the population “to help” resume inter-state road traffic. To achieve this, the two States have committed themselves “to enforcing law and order” and ensuring the free movement of people, goods and services.

In addition, the two ministers urged the actors “to show more responsibility in the exercise of their activities” by ensuring strict compliance with the Highway Code.

For better governance of the Dakar-Bamako Road axis, the two ministerial delegations recommended: “the construction and commissioning of rest and parking areas, the improvement of traffic fluidity by ensuring compliance with road safety standards and the community’s system for limiting checkpoints to combat harassment.”

The accident in Kaolack, about 200 kilometers from the Senegalese capital, Dakar, is the cause of the halt in the flow of cars between the two borders. A truck registered in Mali crashed into a local cab, killing four people on board.

The violence of the impact angered the local people. They then retaliated against Malian drivers. Likewise, on the other side of the border, Senegalese transporters were mistreated.

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