In the most recent developments, Niger has made the decisive move of terminating its military agreement with its neighboring nation, Benin. The primary reason behind this bold decision stems from apprehensions regarding potential military involvement in restoring constitutional order in West Africa.
The announcement came to light through a televised statement by Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the government’s spokesperson, who underscored that Benin had repeatedly disregarded the obligations outlined in the agreement forged back in July 2022.
This decision unfolds shortly after Niger’s military reported the deployment of two military helicopters and 40 armored vehicles by France in Benin. These developments raised suspicions of a potential aggression against the Niger.
Despite their historical ties and mutual interests, it appears that Benin has opted for a path that seemingly contemplates aggression against the Niger, rather than extending its support, as noted by Abdramane.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had previously threatened military intervention and imposed substantial sanctions on Niger following the unrest that erupted on July 26. This unrest was sparked when General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the former commander of the presidential guard, led a military operation that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from power.
Abdramane went on to disclose that the Republic of Benin had authorized the stationing of military personnel, mercenaries, and war equipment with the apparent intent of supporting France in collaboration with certain ECOWAS member countries, despite the existing military cooperation agreement between the two states.
Military leaders have accused France of actively seeking a military intervention aimed at reinstating Bazoum to the presidency.