Niger’s Ruling Junta Open to Dialogue with Benin Over Restoring Ties

Niger’s junta has agreed to talks with Benin to restore relations following a coup in Niger last year that led to border closures and a shutdown of a China-backed oil pipeline. The decision came after Niger’s military leader, General Abdourahamane Tiani, met with former Benin presidents Thomas Boni Yayi and Nicephore Soglo on June 24. Tiani expressed openness to dialogue and agreed to form a commission with representatives from both governments as well as the former Benin presidents to ease tensions. However, no date has been set for the talks. If they are successful, they could allow the resumption of oil exports to China via the 2,000-km PetroChina-backed pipeline, which was suspended in mid-June due to escalating tensions. They could also lead to Niger opening its border with Benin so trade can resume between the two countries.


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