Niger keeps its border with Benin closed

ECOWAS sanctions against Niger were lifted last Saturday during the extraordinary summit of the sub-regional organization in Abuja, Nigeria.

Sanctions which were taken in the wake of the July 26 coup.

For months, the border between Niger and Benin had been closed.

Cotonou has decided to reopen it.

Why does it remain closed on the Niger side? 

Drivers next to their vehicles at the closed border post between Benin and Niger, in the town of Malanville, September 18, 2023 (Illustrative image).


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The three Beninese ministers visiting Malanville on Wednesday, a town in northern




, noted this: the border reopened on the Beninese side is closed on the Niger side.

The new authorities in Niamey cite security reasons.

Even if the prospect of military intervention has receded, mistrust persists, particularly towards France, still suspected of wanting to destabilize them.

Since the coup

, relations between the Beninese and Nigerien authorities have become strained.

The CNSP's supporters want to in some way "

punish Benin for having agreed to play the ECOWAS game

", explains a Sahel specialist.

They believe that Benin has as much to lose as Niger with the closure of this border.

Cotonou, however, remains the most accessible port.

The alternative solution by Togo is expensive and complicated in terms of security.

According to a source close to the Nigerien authorities, it will eventually be necessary to find a consensus with the Beninese authorities “ 

for a common peace


The final sticking point, according to economist Ibrahim Adamou Louché: the subject of security fees, which Niger would have to pay for the numerous containers that have not been able to be transported and stored in Benin since the closure of the border. 


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