Media: Benin and Niger Unblock Joint Border for Movement of goods

27 May

Authorities in Benin and Niger have agreed to reopen their shared border for the movement of goods, which had been closed to trade for nearly nine months, the RFI radio station reports.


Following discussions between the two capitals, a border crossing near the Beninese town of Segbana was reopened, facilitating the resumption of traffic along the trade route from Benin to Niger, as highlighted by the report. The crossing is situated in northern Benin along the Niger River.


In the summer of 2023, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on Niger after a military coup d'état. These sanctions included border closures. Consequently, Benin, which serves as the transit route for trade to Niger from seaports, experienced a significant loss of revenue, adversely impacting the living standards of its populace. Although ECOWAS lifted the economic sanctions in February of this year, the border between Niger and Benin remained closed.


Earlier this month, the Government of Benin prohibited tankers from accessing its national waters to load oil from the newly constructed pipeline originating from Niger to export terminals in the Gulf of Guinea. On May 15, Benin authorities permitted one tanker, chartered by a Chinese company, to enter and load the first shipment of oil from the pipeline. However, two other tankers approaching Benin's shores were denied entry into national waters. The 1,980-kilometer pipeline was constructed with the involvement of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Niger, being landlocked, relies on such infrastructure for its oil exports.


It remains uncertain whether the agreement between Benin and Niger to reopen the Segbana border crossing entails a complete reversal of the ban on tankers entering Benin's territorial waters to load Nigerian oil.



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Photo: Pascal Treichler\Pixabay

Based on materials from TASS