Confirmed reports have it that Benin forces have clashed with gunmen near the country’s northern border with Burkina Faso leaving four attackers dead, the army has said.
However, the information did not identify a specific group, but Gulf of Guinea states Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast are facing a growing threat from Sahel jihadists over their northern borders.
The authoritative army source said a dozen gunmen attacked a military post early Friday in Kaobagou near the border, but troops resisted and pushed them back in a counter-offensive.
The army statement said, “After fleeing, the enemy left behind four bodies, and a large amount of weapons and ammunition.”
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It was pointed out that the border area is also troubled by armed smuggling gangs.
In the meantime, Benin forces say they have faced more than 20 incursions since 2021 while neighbouring Togo has suffered at least five attacks in that time.
Notably, the Sahel conflict began in Mali in 2012 and spread to Burkina Faso and Niger.
Also, the Gulf of Guinea states met in Ghana’s capital Accra earlier this week to discuss boosting cooperation with European partners to contain the spillover from conflicts in Burkina Faso and Niger.
Pitiably, across the three Sahel nations, thousands of people have been killed, more than two million displaced and devastating damage has been inflicted on three of the poorest economies in the world.