Benin demands cooperation from Niger for oil exports to resume

Tensions simmer between Benin and Niger as Benin’s President Patrice Talon conditions the resumption of Niger’s oil exports through Benin’s Seme port on improved cooperation and the formalization of trade.

While Benin eased trade restrictions following sanctions on Niger after its July 2023 coup, Talon accuses Niger’s military leadership of treating Benin with hostility.

He emphasizes the need for formal collaboration and an end to informal border crossings before resuming oil shipments.

Landlocked Niger relies on the Seme port for exporting its crude oil.

President Talon’s statement, released by his office, highlights Benin’s expectation of “collaboration in a formal manner” and respect for Benin’s sovereignty.

Though he doesn’t directly confirm a halt in oil shipments, his words imply a potential hold-up.

This comes despite Benin lifting its suspension of imported goods transiting to Niger in December 2023.

The border closure had impacted Benin’s revenue and food prices.

Previously, President Talon advocated for swift restoration of relations.

However, the current situation suggests ongoing friction.

The dispute underscores the economic importance of Seme port for Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, which recently gained access to the international oil market through this route.

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