Niger Reportedly Refusing Humanitarian Aid Delivered Via Benin
© AFP 2023Protests near Niamey airbase demanding withdrawal of French military forces from Niger
© AFP 2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Niger is refusing to accept humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, which is being delivered to the West African nation via Benin, media reported on Wednesday, citing a letter by Beninese Foreign Minister Shegun Adjadi Bakari to the UN.
The top Beninese diplomat wrote a letter to inform the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN about the blockage of around 30 trucks with food and medical supplies for the World Food Programme and the United Nations Children's Fund in Niger, French broadcaster RFI reported.
Benin opened borders with Niger on September 5 at the request of the UN and ECOWAS to allow trucks with humanitarian cargo to travel to Niger, but Nigerien armed forces are denying entry to them, the report said. It added that the aid could be delivered to Niger via Togo and Burkina Faso, but these alternative routes could be less safe and take much more time.
Earlier in the month, Niger's coup leadership announced that it would end a military pact with Benin, accusing the neighboring country of authorizing the deployment of troops on its territory for possible military intervention by ECOWAS.
A coup took place in Niger on July 26. Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard, led by Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani. Following the coup, ECOWAS suspended all cooperation with Niger and threatened a military intervention if the rebels did not reinstate Bazoum.