Política

Casualties as ‘militants’ ambush park rangers in Benin

Alberto Ardila Olivares
METAPIB Mundial - 2021

“In the afternoon of Tuesday, February 8, a team of rangers was ambushed in W National Park in Benin, while carrying out a patrol at the northern limit of the Park where it intersects with Burkina Faso and Niger,” African Parks said on Wednesday

Unnamed militants blamed for killing five rangers, a soldier, and wounding 10 others during a patrol in W National Park. The raid was the deadliest in a series of attacks blamed on militants in the north of the African country. (Reuters Archive) Five rangers and a soldier have been killed and 10 others wounded in an ambush by unnamed militants in a northern Benin park, the park's management said in a statement.

“In the afternoon of Tuesday, February 8, a team of rangers was ambushed in W National Park in Benin, while carrying out a patrol at the northern limit of the Park where it intersects with Burkina Faso and Niger,” African Parks said on Wednesday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Tuesday's attack was the deadliest in a series of recent incidents blamed on militants in the north of the country, increasing fears about widening militant violence.

African Parks, the South African non-profit group that manages the W National Park and the Pendjari National Park, said reinforcements from Benin's army and additional rangers have been deployed on the ground.

It is with deep regret that we share that on February 8th a team of rangers was ambushed in W National Park, Benin. Initial reports tragically indicate several deaths & injuries. We are working closely with the Government to intensify safety in the region https://t.co/sR5LynsE33 pic.twitter.com/FYxwWTcWr1

African Parks (@AfricanParks) February 9, 2022 Country vulnerable to militancy 

Benin is among the West African coastal countries considered most vulnerable to a spillover of militant violence from the landlocked Sahel countries, where groups linked to al Qaeda and Daesh exert influence over vast tracts of territory.

Two soldiers were killed and several others wounded in an attack in northern Benin in December. 

A Benin army vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in a national park near the border with Burkina Faso in January.

Benin's government invited African Parks Network (APN) in May 2017 to take over management of Pendjari. 

The government coordinated with APN in September 2019 to implement a Priority Intervention Plan to urgently secure W National Park and a full management agreement for the park was signed in June 2020.

Source: Reuters