Niger’s junta has confirmed that rebels damaged an oil pipeline carrying crude to Benin. The Patriotic Liberation Front, advocating for the release of ousted president Mohamed Bazoum, claimed responsibility for the recent attack. They’ve targeted oil facilities, urging Chinese operators to withdraw support from the military regime. This incident adds to challenges facing the 2,000km pipeline, pivotal for Niger and Benin amid strained relations. Despite regional sanctions post-coup, Ecowas lifted restrictions, yet Niger kept borders shut over alleged French-backed destabilization efforts. Relations soured further as Niger accused Benin of hosting French forces, blocking Niger’s inaugural oil exports. China intervened, allowing crude exports, but tensions persist, with recent arrests exacerbating diplomatic strains.

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