Senegalese and Gambian foreign ministers met on Friday, January 15, in Dakar to find solutions to the rose trade problem. But beyond the stated will, no immediate concrete progress.
as reported from Dakar, Charlotte Idrac
It is a plague that continues between Senegal and Gambia: trade in rosewood, protected but cut in Casamance in the southern part of Senegal and then transported to Gambia, from where it is illegally exported to China. According to the Dakar Institute for Security Studies, about one million trees have been illegally felled in Casamance or a third of the region’s forest.
“It is not a Gambian problem or Senegalese, but a Senegalese problem,” according to Mamadou Tangara, head of Gambian diplomacy. “I would like to reaffirm the commitment of President Adama Barrow’s Gambian government to work hand in hand with its big brother and friend Macky Sall. Let’s not miss the mark. “
The observation is shared: the two countries must fight together against this trade in timber. “The reports and other available data describe an alarming situation as well as an ecological and health disaster,” said Aissata Tall Sall, Senegalese foreign minister. In addition, the woodcarvers are cunning with the safety forces. It is therefore urgent to apply zero tolerance to them. “
In the draft report, the two countries refer to “severe” sanctions against traffickers or even the systematic seizure of lorries transporting timber from illegal logging, but in terms of implementation, experts struggled to agree.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “strong measures” are expected regarding the political and security plan at the end of Friday’s meeting. In the end, no decision was made public.
Last year, NGO Trial International filed a complaint against a Swiss businessman who was accused of being involved in human trafficking. In the process, the French shipowner CMA CGM suspended its timber exports from Gambia.