At least 72 Senegalese citizens, arrested for illegally entering or staying The Gambia have been reportedly deported by the West African authorities to its neighbor’s Casamance region.
The Senegalese citizens that were held by Gambia’s Immigration Police were undocumented and unable to appeal their abrupt deportation.
According to SMBC’s BizFM News Radio, the Senegalese were arrested in the capital, Banjul and around the Kombo Metropolitan area.
Gambia’s Homeland Security Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty signed new cooperations with Senegal’s Public Safety and Security Minister Abdoulaye Douda Diallo, in which the two nations strengthened security ties.
Senegal played a leading role in helping the Gambia to oust its self-serving ruler, Yahya Jammeh, with whom relations were strained.
Gambia and Senegal have been buried in a border dispute along the Foni-Casamance border that President Adama Barrow has signaled the need to bring to an end.
Barrow has repaired the damaged relations between Dakar and Banjul since Senegalese troops led West African forces to flush Jammeh out of power.
The West African stabilization force, ECOMIG, continues to stay in The Gambia amid threats of an external armed opposition to destabilize Barrow’s regime.
The expelling of Senegalese citizens may not see the new relations between the two countries take an ugly turn but could rob off wrongly critics of Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who have opposed the French-speaking nation’s military involvement in Gambia.