Benin says in talks with Rwanda over logistical aid to counter extremist threat

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Rwanda may provide logistical support to help Benin tackle a worsening extremism that is threatening parts of the West African region, a Benin government spokesperson said on Saturday.

Talks with Rwanda are ongoing about the possible help which would not involve the deployment of any Rwandan troops to Benin, Wilfried Léandre Houngbedji told Reuters.

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Benin, alongside the Gulf of Guinea states Togo and Ivory Coast, has seen increasing attacks from fighters linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS as violence creeps south from the Sahel countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

“As with Niger and Burkina Faso, we are in discussions with Rwanda about logistical support, the provision of expertise,” Houngbedji said.

Rwandan military spokesperson Ronald Rwivanga said he could not comment on the “existing defense cooperation” between Rwanda and Benin.

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