Niamey refuses humanitarian aid offered by Cotonou

Niamey refuses humanitarian aid offered by Cotonou

At the request of the United Nations, ECOWAS asked Benin, Togo and Nigeria to allow humanitarian aid convoys to pass through. Benin did so on September 5, except that Niger banned trucks from Benin from entering its territory. They are stuck at the border.

2 mins

With our correspondent in Cotonou, Jean-Luc Aplogan

This is the consequence of tense relations between the Nigerien junta and the Beninese authorities since the July 26 coup which overthrew Mohamed Bazoum. Niamey even broke off its military cooperation with Benin and Porto Novo continues to assert that the only legitimate interlocutor is the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum. The head of Beninese diplomacy sent a letter to inform the ECOWAS commission and the UN of the blockage of trucks.

There are around thirty trucks loaded with nutritional products and medicines for the WFP and UNICEF. The cargoes were destined for Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, Zinder and Niamey. According to the Beninese Minister of Foreign Affairs, his country opened a humanitarian corridor on September 5 to allow aid to pass, but the Nigerien army opposed the entry of the convoy into its territory.

This refusal by Nigeriens is not surprising; the junta suspects Benin of playing a leading role in the possible military intervention which will restore President Bazoum. What comes from Patrice Talon is suspicious in the eyes of the junta and therefore undesirable.

In the west of Benin, Togo, approached like Nigeria for the delivery of aid, said it was favorable. The junta has not shown hostility against President Faure Gnassingbé. The Togolese route can be a plan B. Going through Burkina would be the other solution like three weeks ago when 300 trucks took this route to arrive in Niger. But the detour is long with risks of insecurity.