The military in power in Niger said Tuesday evening, September 12, that they had denounced a military cooperation agreement concluded in 2022 with neighboring Benin, which they accuse of “considering aggression” against their country.
In a press release read on national television, the military regime in Niamey indicated “having called on several occasions for compliance with the obligations” of this agreement signed on July 11, 2022 with Benin which they decided to “denounce”. The military who came to power in Niger through a coup on July 26 say Benin has “decided to consider aggression against Niger instead of supporting it.”
“The Republic of Benin has authorized the stationing of mercenary soldiers and war materials in view of an aggression desired by France in collaboration with certain countries” of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against Niger, they assured Tuesday while reiterating their “desire to avoid escalation”.
Jihadist attacks and incursions
For several weeks, ECOWAS has been brandishing the threat of military intervention in Niger to restore constitutional order and reinstate in office the deposed president Mohamed Bazoum, held prisoner and who refuses to resign.
This agreement with Benin concerned in particular the exchange of intelligence, air assistance to monitor the movements of jihadists and joint operations between the two Beninese and Nigerien armies. Northern Benin, bordering Niger and Burkina Faso, two countries undermined by recurring jihadist violence, has been the scene of attacks and incursions by these groups in recent months.
This weekend, the new authorities in Niamey also accused France of preparing “aggression” by deploying “forces” in several West African countries. Accusations denied by Paris which does not recognize the military regime.
Several military agreements with France were also denounced by the generals in power on August 3 who claim that the presence of the 1,500 French soldiers on their territory is now illegal.