Following the coup d’état that occurred on July 26th in Niger, the borders between this country and most members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been closed as part of sanctions. However, this decision is causing outrage among neighboring countries.
In the northern border region of Nigeria, the closure of the border with Niger has led to a complete paralysis of activities since the coup. This 1,500-kilometer border has been locked on both sides, leaving many residents of both countries bewildered. For these populations who share a common daily life, the current situation is hard to comprehend.
Mohamed Abdoullahi has been waiting for over three weeks for the border to reopen, his car filled with shoes and clothes intended for resale in Niamey. He is still hoping that the border will open soon: “They said Sunday or Monday, they will reopen the border. I don’t know if it’s true,” he told RFI.
Much more concerned about economic issues than diplomatic negotiations, this transporter struggles to believe in the prospects of a military operation. “They say Nigeria will attack Niger. That’s not true because Nigeria and Niger are the same thing,” he says. “I am in Niger, I got married in Nigeria, in Abuja. Now, I’m in Niamey.”
As for Yazid Abdourahamane, a young Nigerian employed by a transport company that usually operates between the two nations, his situation is equally complex. Working in Nigeria while having his family in Niamey, he shares: “On one side, I am Nigerian, and on the other side, I am Nigerian, because my father is of Nigerian origin. But he is of Nigerien nationality, just like me, I am of Nigerian origin but of Nigerien nationality. It’s the same thing because we are from the same family, speak almost the same language, and share a similar culture.”
Over 100 Trucks Loaded with Onions Blocked at Benin Border
On the other hand, the situation at the border between Benin and Niger is also causing concerns. Over 100 trucks loaded with onions are blocked at this border due to its closure. Each truck carries at least 300 bags of onions, worth 1,500 Ghana cedis each, report the colleagues of Joynews.
As a result, an estimated value of 45 million GHS worth of onions remains immobilized at the border, and a large quantity of them is rotting on-site. Mohammed Salisu, a truck driver, has been stuck with his onion cargo at the border for a week. He explained that the intervention of the Ghana embassy in the landlocked country is necessary to gain access to the trucks en route to Nana Akufo-Addo’s country.
“Some trucks have been stuck at the border for 10 to 12 days. For my part, I’ve only been here for a week. We had to call the Ghana embassy’s office, which sent a delegation to the border. The ambassador even came the next day to resolve the issues,” he reported.
AfrikPage with news agencies