Senegal: no resumption in sight for boats between Dakar and Ziguinchor, suspended since June

While Senegal commemorates Wednesday, September 27, the 21st anniversary of the Joola disaster, this terrible shipwreck in which nearly 2,000 people lost their lives in 2002, the maritime link between the capital and Ziguinchor, in Casamance, is still suspended since early July 2023. However, since 2008, a boat insured it.

A person looks at the ferry connecting Dakar and Ziguinchor on September 24, 2022, which has been suspended since June 2023. © John Wessels / AFP

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Léa-Lisa Westerhoff

The order to suspend the link between Dakar and Ziguinchor dates from June. Since then, no new instructions have been received, summarizes the director of Cosama, the company that manages the ferry between the capital and Casamance.

The suspension of the maritime link was mainly due to the riots in Dakar, which broke out in early June, confirms a source at the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs: "At the time, the boat was never as full as during the riots, so it was to guarantee safety that the choice was made to suspend it.


Still no timetable

But three months later, no timetable is yet known for the resumption of trips. And for the economic actors of Casamance who use it to sell fruit, palm oil and fish in the capital, it is a big shortfall, as confirmed by François Joseph Cabral, professor of economics at Cheikh Anta Diop University: "The effect is immediately felt because you no longer have possible sales to the rest of Senegal or, If you have it, the volume is much less and you lose a handle using a more expensive means of transport, the road.


► Read also: Senegal: despite delays, the opening of the Joola museum in Ziguinchor is looming

Costs are almost doubled by road and there is no rail link to Casamance. For almost four months, some 1,500 people have also been deprived of this direct and inexpensive means of transport.

According to François Joseph Cabral, professor of economics at Cheikh Anta Diop University, "this boat represents the umbilical cord between the southern region, Casamance, and the rest of Senegal" and the consequences of this suspension are mainly economic and "visible".


"The boat is a way to increase the purchasing power of Casamance farmers," according to François Joseph Cabral, professor of economics at Cheikh Anta Diop University.

Lea-Lisa Westerhoff

" READ ALSO Senegal: 20 years after the sinking of the "Joola", the expectations still many of the victims

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Read on on the same topics:

  • Senegal
  • Casamance
  • Transport
  • Oceans
  • Trade and Commerce