It suits Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi’s government that the Islamic State rebel group claims it organised the attack in late March of ... this year on Palma –– it helps distract from the crime and corruption at the heart of the problem.
So far, no official complaint has been made. However, according to our information, Agbénonci used the opportunity of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s swearing in ceremony on 7 January in Accra to question his Nigerian counterpart Onyeama.
The foreign affairs minister – accompanied by trade minister Shadiya Alimatou Assouman – represented Benin’s President Patrice Talon. Although his attendance was officially announced, he was unable to attend the event as he was still engaged in the second phase of his extensive “accountability” tour.
Agbénonci asked Onyeama for clarification on the exact conditions and effective date of when trade would resume over their shared border. Onyeama assured him that the Nigerian authorities were indeed planning a full reopening – except for specific goods like Asian rice. The Nigerian official promised Benin that he would refer the matter to the relevant authorities in Abuja so that this measure could be implemented as soon as possible.
Although the Nigerian authorities have announced the reopening of the borders with the country’s four neighbours (Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon), in reality, only pedestrians and light-duty vehicles can – legally – cross the border between Benin and Nigeria.
The announcement of the closure, in August 2019, had been very badly received by the Beninese authorities, who had not been consulted beforehand. Once again, the reopening was decreed without prior consultation, according to Talon’s government.
The article continues below
Get your free PDF: COVID-19. How Africa can navigate the pandemic
Leaders of all stripes are scrambling to contain the fallout.
Complete the form and download, for free, The Africa Report’s COVID-19 How Africa can navigate the pandemic. Get your free PDF by completing the following form
A tripartite meeting had been scheduled on this subject on 25 November between the Nigerian, Nigerien and Beninese authorities, on the sidelines of the 47th conference of the Council of Foreign Ministers organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Niamey.
This meeting, which was supposed to monitor the progress of the reopening of its borders, based on the prerequisites put in place by Abuja, did not take place.
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options