They had already had a difficult year. If the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting additional border regulations had been bad for business, Koné said, the coup in Mali would make matters worse due to the uncertainty it brought.
They and more than 100 union colleagues met last Tuesday to discuss the dangers of products like ammonium nitrate and the best way to charge and drive it.
Gorgui Diouf, a truck driver leaving for Mali with a load of ammonium nitrate for the Kidira border post in Senegal, said on the phone Wednesday that he did not know if it would be open. The rules had changed so often in recent months, since the coronavirus, then a temporary easing of controls due to Senegal’s most important festival, Tabaski, then, after the coup in Mali on August 18, closures of borders threatened by the region. organization of states.
But once the trucks cross the border with Mali, a Senegalese port official said, the cargo is no longer under his responsibility.
“How things are organized when they arrive in Mali, I don’t know. It’s not my job, ”said the port manager, who refused to be identified by name because he was not authorized to speak by his superiors. Many port officials, including these superiors, refused or ignored requests to speak.
“In all the ports of the world, you have the passage of dangerous goods,” said the official.