Benin faces the consequences of the sanctions lifted by ECOWAS

Niger has decided to keep its borders closed to Benin despite the lifting of the sanctions by ECOWAS

Benin was among the countries that celebrated the lifting of sanctions on Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso after their withdrawal from ECOWAS.

However, even though the sanctions have been lifted, the borders between Niger and Benin remain closed.

This has led to various consequences for the populations and economic operators, particularly in Benin.

The president of the Republic of Benin, Patrice Talon, favoured lifting the sanctions and expressed this during the extraordinary summit of Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS, Saturday 24 February in Abuja, Nigeria.

The  Beninese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olushegun Adjadi, also expressed the deep satisfaction the lifting of the sanctions has provided, and this is because of ECOWAS’ monumental free movements of goods and services protocol, which was first implemented as early as 1979.

It has served as beneficial for many populations in West Africa in terms of movement and economic activity. Nevertheless, Niger has decided to keep their borders closed to Benin.

In the border town of Benin, Malanville, business owners were ready for the resumption and the movement of goods and services; however, in the Niger town of Gaya, the system put in place by the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) is still in place with fortified containers which block all passage and continue to prevent any movement of people and vehicles on the bridge—both ways.

According to the President of the junta of Niger, General Abdourahmane Tchiani has noted the border will remain closed until the president of the Republic of Benin, Talon, can ensure that the opening of the borders will not disrupt and destabilize the transition in Niger.

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