Rwanda Promises Military Aid to Benin to Combat Sahel Conflict

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has promised military support to help Benin contain a spillover from jihadist conflict at the west African nation's northern border with Burkina Faso, reports Radio France International.

West Africa's coastal nations Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire are increasingly worried by the insurgency gaining ground just across their northern borders. In 2022 Benin began talks over military and logistical cooperation with Rwanda, whose troops Kagame has already dispatched to help quell unrest in Mozambique and the Central African Republic.

France's withdrawal of troops from Mali in the face of continuing disputes with the ruling junta and Burkina Faso's instability have refocused Western partners to aid coastal nations on the Gulf of Guinea to stop the southward spread of the Sahel's Islamist insurgency.

Benin, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire have already suffered attacks in border areas blamed on jihadists, while Ghana recently reinforced its military presence along its northern frontier. Kagame made the promises during a two-day state visit in Benin where he and President Patrice Talon signed nine bilateral deals.

During the visit, Kagame raised concerns about Russia's presence in Africa saying Russia or any other big power should not be Africa's problem and Russia has a right to be in Africa, legally, just as any other country has, to be anywhere.


Rwandan President Paul Kagame, left, in a press conference with Benin president Patrice Talon.

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