Benin Police Invade Nigeria, Seize 16 Villages

Benin Scrambles to Build Police Stations, Annex Border Region

Tensions in the Kwara region of Nigeria are boiling over today, as the neighboring Republic of Benin has invaded, seizing 16 villages along the border region, and are scrambling to build Beninese police stations as a step toward outright annexation of the area.

The border between Nigeria and Benin was for decades totally almost totally unmarked, but in 2005 the two nations had a series of meetings over the matter and settled on a pact which saw the two nations agree to colonial-era borders. Under this pact, 13 other previously Nigerian villages were ceded to Benin.

The move seems incredibly dangerous for the Benin government, as in 2004, ahead of the last border deal, Nigeria cut off trade with them, virtually crippling their economy, which remains heavily dependent on Nigerian trade to this day.

It may be a bet that Nigeria, with its newly installed government and amid its huge war with Boko Haram, simply won’t bother to dispute the loss of the villages, but this appears to be a huge gamble by the much smaller Benin, and brings the once resolved border issue back into open dispute.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.