There Are Foreign ‘Soldiers’ in Benin Who Are ‘Training Terrorists,’ Nigerien Prime Minister Says

In February, the Economic Community of West African States decided to lift sanctions against Niger, including border closures, imposed on the country after a military coup last July. Following the decision, Benin reopened its borders with Niger, which kept the land borders on its side closed.

There are foreign “soldiers” in Benin who are “training terrorists,” Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said to justify Niamey’s decision to keep the land border with Benin closed.

In Benin, “non-Beninese lead five points,” Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said at a conference on economic issues.

This country, which borders Niger, has “the largest and most dangerous base, on the edge of the W National Park, where these soldiers train terrorists”, he stressed.

These comments came after Zeine said on May 11 that Benin was home to “French bases” training “terrorists to come and destabilize Niger.”

He also called on economic operators to transfer their goods to Togo. The borders with Chad, Algeria and Libya remain open.

Benin and Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, have a mutual road transport agreement, which permits companies in Benin to transport goods to and from Niger through the use of ports in Benin and neighboring Togo.

In mid-May, Nigerien Transport Ministry said that transportation of the country’s goods in Togo “will be reserved exclusively for vehicles registered in Niger and Togo.”

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