Kidnapping And Hostages, Benin, Burkina Faso, National Parks And National Monuments, African Parks, Politics

Kidnapping And Hostages, Benin

After Safari Ends in a Nightmare, Benin Awakens to the Threat of Terrorism

The death of a safari guide has drawn attention to how the terrorism wracking West African nations could also threaten Benin

20.8.2019

The death of a safari guide has drawn attention to how the terrorism wracking West African nations could also threaten Benin

A safari guide knew every watering hole in Pendjari National Park in Benin . He did not know that terrorists across the border could reach him in his country.

Jihadists have pushed south into the three-park complex, where they’ve found food and refuge from air surveillance, said Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni, the director of the West Africa office of the Institute for Security Studies, a think tank.

Mr. Gbédji stayed well away from the Pendjari River, feeling safe on the Benin side, other guides said. But since the kidnapping, on French and American maps the red zone has ballooned: All of Pendjari is now red.

; two others escaped. Petty officers Cédric de Pierrepont, 32, and Alain Bertoncello, 27, were killed.

Beninese soldiers at their camp in Pendjari National Park.

The kidnapping is still shrouded in mystery. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility. The French tourists declined interview requests. The French government has not let Benin’s officials interview them, Mr. Baglo said.

“No country in Africa can protect its borders all alone,” he added.

Read more: The New York Times

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