(Ecofin Agency) - Although less affected than its neighbors, Benin has also been facing an upsurge in terrorist attacks in its northern part since 2021.
Benin's Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, reached a deal last October 24 with the Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Japanese Embassy in Benin, Motonobu Ichijo. The agreement is aimed at financing Benin's "Economic and Social Development Program". It will contribute to strengthening the country’s security system as part of the fight against terrorism.
Specifically, Japan will provide the West African country with rolling stock and emergency equipment, for about CFA1.6 billion ($2.6 million), according to a press release from the japan Embassy. The deal "falls within the framework of Japan's non-refundable grant, the objective of which is to support the Government of Benin in further strengthening the operational capacities of Republican Police units and services in charge of civil protection, in the fight against terrorism in Benin", the press release explained.
The agreement comes at a time when terrorism is tightening its grip on Benin, which has had to deal with this new reality since 2021. Although on a smaller scale than the violence suffered by its neighbors, the threat remains persistent, especially against the backdrop of the Sahel's fragility.
Endogenous factors such as the illegal trade in adulterated fuel, commonly known as "Kpayo", are, according to experts, a source of funding for the armed terrorist groups operating in the north of the country. At the same time, the departure of foreign military forces deployed as part of the fight against terrorism, driven out by the juntas that have conquered power in the Sahel region, could lead to an upsurge in attacks.