Benin: extremists could exploit community conflicts (report)

The “There is a risk of an overflow of violence in the Sahel” in Benin. This is the alert given by a report from the Dutch think tank Clingendael, released this Thursday, June 10. The document mentions “ a significant number of community conflicts in northern Benin which have become more intense and deadly in recent years ”. The think-tank specializing in security issues believes that the Beninese government “Seems to be deliberately concealing these problems”, even “If he works hard behind the scenes for” adjust them.

The conflicts in question are linked to access to resources in the northern part of the country. They have intensified in recent years, and risk being used by extremist groups in neighboring countries, worries the report of the famous Dutch think-thank. Indeed, according to the document, there is an upsurge in violence in the departments ofAlibori, Borgou and Atakora which share the border with Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Countries known to host groups belonging to the jihadist movement.

Tensions that ‘escalate’

To prevent violence in the Sahel from spilling over into Benin, the Clingendael report recommends finding solutions to the resurgence of community conflicts caused by tensions between herders and farmers over access to land. Tensions that “Find” for several decades and which have taken an ethnic turn since the breeders are mainly Fulani.

They have already started using community tensions

The report also calls for silencing disputes caused by a failing land tenure system. The third tension factor according to the Dutch think tank is the management of Pendjari and W parks by the NGO African Parks Network. According to the report, this management generates friction with local communities. Something that extremist groups may want to exploit.

For the moment, terrorists are not permanently present in the northern part of Benin. However, some cross the three regions regularly. They have already started using community tensions in some localities.

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