Kars de Bruijne, a researcher at the Klingendal Institute of International Relations in the Netherlands, analyzed the security risks in the northern part of the country.
In May 2019, two French tourists were kidnapped in Pendjari Park in northern Benin and released by French troops in Burkina Faso a few days later. In this operation, their Beninese guide and two French soldiers were killed in order to prevent their transfer to the very active jihadist organization Katiba Macina in central Mali.
Although they are not permanently present in northern Benin, elements associated with extremist groups are circulating in this part of the country. They have exacerbated the fear of importing violence from the Sahel region to the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea shared by many observers.
Kars de Bruijne is a conflict researcher at the Klingendal Institute of International Relations in the Netherlands. In a report published on Thursday, June 10, he analyzed the security and political developments in sensitive areas such as Alibori, Borgu, and Atacola that border Niger, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.
The new data in this report comes from local organizations (whose name is withheld for security reasons) and NGOs Armed conflict location and event data project (Acled). These data from 2017 to the present show that there are various community conflicts in northern Benin, which have become deadly and have intensified over the years. The government of Benin seems to be deliberately concealing these problems from the public, even if it does try to solve them.
The situation is more serious than we thought. Between 2017 and 2019, violent incidents increased by nearly 30%. Since the local partner organization began to provide Acled with weekly information in March 2020, the number of reported cases of violence has almost tripled.