On Tuesday, October 23, the British Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its Benin travel advisory, advising its citizens to avoid travel to W National Park as well as the bordering Meêkrou and Djona hunting zones due to the serious terrorist risk in the area. The FCO also advises against nonessential travel to the area situated between Interstate National Road [RNIE] n°2 and the Nigerian border (from Tchaourou to Malanville), as well as along the northeastern half of the Nigerian border.
The French government also advises against all travel to W Park as well as nonessential travel the northeastern half of the country (Alibori and Borgou departments), between RNIE n°2 and the Nigerian border.
Despite its name, W National Park spans parts of three countries: Benin, Niger, and Burkina Faso. Increased militant activity, including attacks, has been reported in areas of the park located eastern Burkina Faso.
No terrorists attacks have been carried out in Benin but the risk remains elevated due to the country's proximity with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, as well as the government's involvement in the military coalition fighting the terrorist group Boko Haram. Benin officially joined the fight in 2015 and several hundred Beninese soldiers currently participate in the Multinational Mixed Force (FMM; mostly comprised of troops from the Chad Lake-adjacent countries Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon).
Individuals throughout Benin should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
As a reminder, some Western governments advise against travel to the far north of the country - including areas along the Nigerien and Burkinabe borders - due to security issues.
Copyright and Disclaimer