Two dead in attack in northern Benin

“Yes there was an incident, but no certainty about the nature”. Questioned, this Wednesday, September 14, on the sidelines of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, the spokesperson for the Beninese government Wilfried Léandre Houngbédji refused to speculate on the characterization of terrorist or not of the deadly attack which took place a few hours later. early in northern Benin.

Armed individuals attacked, very early in the morning at a customs post in Malanville, a border town with Niger. The death toll is two, including civilians identified as “informal collaborators” customs officers on site.

Uncertain origin

No indication of the number of attackers involved and even less of their motivations. The government refers “an action of criminals on motorcycles and armed trying to attack a customs post without special protection, unlike a police station or an army unit”.

Wilfried Léandre Houngbédji refuses, moreover, to speak of a jihadist attack without a thorough investigation. Part of the local press was quick to mention this hypothesis with regard to the place of the incident and its mode of operation.

In recent months, motorbike attacks have indeed multiplied against law enforcement in the northern part, as President Patrice Talon tries to sell the country as an attractive destination for investors. A situation that is all the more worrying as Benin has long been spared the terrorist threat which has been a reality in West Africa for several years.

Containment strategies

Proximity to states facing this growing scourge such as Niger or Burkina seems to have shattered Beninese insurance for almost a year. The army has thus been deployed in the north, particularly at the borders, under the command of the new chief of staff of the armed forces, Fructueux Gbaguidi. This general, appointed at the beginning of April 2022, promised to work to secure the entire territory.

Several strategies ranging from raising awareness among populations to sharing information with neighboring nations have been tried. Rwandan anti-jihadist expertise is also sought.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.