Recent opening of border crossing between Mauritania and Algeria turned rapidly into a fiasco

The new Algerian-Mauritanian border post Tindouf-Zouerate, opened recently with grand fanfare on the Algerian side, has seemingly turned into a fiasco according to the testimony of Algerian truck drivers who are struggling to convey their goods to Mauritania.

The fiasco began with the inauguration of the border crossing on September 18. A first convoy of 47 Algerian trucks had to drive a 1700 km-long sandy track, full of pitfalls before arriving in Nouakchott to deliver their goods to Algerian exhibitors in a fair organized in the Mauritanian capital.

At the end of this mishap, Algerian truckers did not hide their disappointment. They also complained about the high price of gas in Mauritania where it is sold in gas stations at 190 dinars per liter (about €1.42) against only €0.17 in Algeria.

After the protest of Sahrawi tradesmen in the Tindouf camps against the customs duties newly imposed by Mauritanian authorities at the Tindouf-Zouerat border post, it is the turn of the Algerian drivers to denounce the high price of gas in Mauritania, demanding to pay same price as in Algeria, a request that Mauritanian authorities reject.

The new border post created at the initiative of the authorities of Algiers, seeking to compete with the Moroccan Guergarat border crossing that has long linked Morocco to Mauritania, is now unused with the transit of goods destined to Mauritanian market completely stopped, reported on Tuesday (Nov. 13) Mauritanian media .

The traffic cessation across the new border post is explained, according to the media, not only by the high prices of gas and the harsh conditions of the journey, but also by the fierce competition of Moroccan exporters as Moroccan agricultural products in particular (potatoes, tomatoes, fruits, dates and milk etc.) are sold in the Mauritanian market at lower prices than those coming from Algeria.

Angry truckers have no choice but to turn back and put an end to such adventures. Meanwhile, the Algerian shippers of the goods are certainly the big losers, being victim of the Algerian regime’s maneuvers against Morocco and its interests.

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