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EU gives nearly 50 mn euros to Benin's anti-terrorism fight

By AFP

April 26, 2024 07:50 PM


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The European Union will provide nearly 50 million euros to Benin to support security and counter-terrorism, including the purchase of drones, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.

Benin, along with Gulf of Guinea neighbors Ghana, Togo, and Ivory Coast, faces a growing risk of violent spillover from the jihadist wars to their north in the Sahel region.

"We are in the process of mobilizing 47 million euros for this year alone," Michel said after a meeting with Benin President Patrice Talon.

He said the financing will be used in particular "for the acquisition of drones or even intelligence gathering aircraft" for "material and equipment intended for security and the fight against terrorism".

The day before he was in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he also affirmed the EU's commitment against terrorism.

The northern regions of Benin and Togo have for several years suffered attacks and incursions from fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group and Al-Qaeda who are thriving in the Sahel and seeking to move southward.

The northern border with Niger has recently become more of a source of concern since the overthrow of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum by the military in 2023 and the withdrawal of French troops from the Sahel region.

Benin has sent 3,000 troops to the north of the country to better secure its border and has begun recruiting another 5,000 new troops for the northern region.

Benin authorities rarely speak about the security situation in the north, but in April 2023, officials said the country had suffered about 20 incursions from across the border since 2021.


AFP


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