‘Jihadists Trooping Into Nigeria Through Benin Republic’ – Report Reveals

A fresh study has uncovered substantial proof indicating that fighters associated with jihadist groups from the Sahel area have made their way into Nigeria via the Benin Republic’s border.

The Clingendael Institute, a Dutch research organization specializing in the Sahel, unveiled this study on Wednesday.

Naija News reports that this is a call for vigilance and action by concerned stakeholders in Nigeria as the Sahel area has experienced a significant rise in acts of terrorism and radicalism, especially in nations like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic.

The area shared by these countries, known as the tri-border region, has been particularly impacted, with terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State increasing their presence and launching assaults on both government personnel and civilians.

Moreover, the rise in military takeovers in recent years has exacerbated the situation of insecurity, with countries in West Africa distancing themselves from the US and France and seeking assistance from Russia.

Benin, which is adjacent to Nigeria, Niger Republic, and Burkina Faso, has also witnessed a rise in violent extremism in its northern areas.

“That violence has now seeped into Nigeria,” the Clingendael Institute said in its report.

The report indicates that banditry is on the rise again in areas held by Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a violent Islamist group. JNIM is involved in militant activities and appears to have ties with Nigeria.

The report further states that these extremists have established a presence in Kainji Lake National Park in Niger and the states of Kebbi.

“Evidence suggests this involves Sahelian extremists (likely JNIM). Another group would be Darul Salam – a group linked to Boko Haram if not fully affiliated — with an open attitude towards bandits,” the report noted.

“Bandits and unidentified armed groups are known to move towards Kebbi State from Sokoto. It is alleged that these include various Darul Salam fighters with links to the Sahel,” the Clingendael report added.

However, it remains unclear what the motive of the Sahel extremists in the park is and what their relationship with other armed groups there will be.

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