ECOWAS sanctions: truckers blocked at the border between Mali and Côte d'Ivoire

Audio 01:18

Trucks wait to cross in the Ivorian village of Pogo on the border with Mali, January 20, 2022. © Pierre Pinto / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Since January 9, the borders of Mali have been closed.

ECOWAS has sanctioned the Malian junta by imposing a blockade on the country.

If basic necessities can enter Mali, nothing else.

As far as passengers are concerned, the border has theoretically been closed for almost two years and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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With our correspondent in Abidjan back from Pogo,

Pierre Pinto

For four nights, these three Malian drivers have been sleeping under their truck.

They are blocked until further notice at the Pogo border post, waiting to be able to take the road to Bamako 500 km away.

“ 

We transport iron.

I was told that we are not allowed to cross with iron so we are waiting until further notice.

We knew the border was closed.

We learned that in Abidjan.

We came and they told us it was closed,

says the truck driver

.

We hope inch'Allah that there will be solutions so that the border can open and we can leave.

We know it will open, there is no other choice.

It has to open. 

»

No change for basic necessities

While heavy goods vehicle traffic has fallen in Pogo, it is far from over.

Basic necessities are still allowed to enter Mali.

Trucks loaded with rice or oil, for example, pass without a hitch and return empty in the other direction, as for fuel, explains this tanker truck driver: “

 The closure hasn't changed anything for us

 ”.

At Pogo we still see a few minibuses disembarking passengers.

If travelers are theoretically prohibited from entering Mali by land since the start of the pandemic.

Some pass through the bush on a motorbike for between 10,000 and 11,000 CFA francs.

►Also read: Malian Prime Minister announces complaint against ECOWAS sanctions

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