The president of the Republic last month approved the closure of all borders including sea, air and land between The Gambia and Senegal as part of measures to stem the spread of the covid-19. Despite this presidential move, people continue to smuggle people and other merchandise in and out of the country.
It's been reported in our yesterday's edition that personnel of The Gambia Immigration Department during a routine border patrol around Farafenni have impounded over 20 motorcycles used to smuggle people into the country despite the ban amid covid-19 lockdown.
Earlier on, during a similar patrol they've also intercepted two trucks loaded with merchandise in the Fonis heading to Senegal.
We all know that smuggling be it in person or goods represent one of the great challenges to both national and international security. Annually, millions of people and merchandise are smuggled across international borders. Most of the people who resort to these awful moves either want to evade existing national and international controls and limitations on commerce and criminal behaviour. It therefore poses serious threat to the security of individuals, states, and even the international community, and must be minimised or stopped to the greatest extent possible.
Smuggling has represented a threat to national and international security ever since national borders emerged and the international system was established.
We wish to commend the GID and all the sister security forces for their absolute and determination to enforce this presidential declaration to the latter. We also want to remind people involved in this awful and nefarious act to always put the health of the populace above personal gains.
Since the outbreak of covid-19, which is now declared a global pandemic, nations across the globe are putting particular emphasis in securing their borders to make sure that the safety and health of their citizens is guaranteed at all cost.
Senegal has a significant number of people who are reported to have contracted the deadly virus. Therefore, ferrying people or merchandise across our porous borders doesn't only pose security threat but health as well, as one cannot ascertain the health condition of those being smuggled into the country.
No country in the world is immune to such illegal activity. Perhaps the main reasons for its existence and persistence are in the ineradicable human greed for money, and the impossibility of establishing airtight borders in increasingly open societies.
We must all put our collective responsibility to stem the flow of people and merchandise during this lockdown period.
We once again commend the personnel of the Gambia security apparatus for their hard work in enforcing this presidential declaration.
"We never want to expand our borders... but I can say that our security forces and defence forces possess all the might to protect our borders."