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Niger accuses Benin of kidnapping 5 of its nationals

Niamey, Jun 9 (Prensa Latina) Niger on Sunday condemned Benin government's involvement in the kidnapping of five of its citizens, in charge in Benin of controlling the oil cargo of the Wapco-Niger company, according to local television.

The kidnapped were supervising the loading of crude oil from this country to a Chinese vessel in the port of Seme-Kpodji and are still being held hostage by the Beninese authorities, said the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).

Niger will take all necessary measures to secure the release of its kidnapped citizens, defend their rights and protect crucial interests of this country, said CNSP sources.

On the other hand, Porto Novo indicated that two Nigerien citizens arrested arrived in that nation with false documents and in no way are employees of the mentioned company.

But the authorities of this northwestern African state claimed that the vice general manager of Wapco-Niger, Aminu Jadisatu Ibra, and four other executives of that company were kidnapped in Benin.

Niger accuses President Patrice Talon of allowing violations of the oil transport agreement.

Niger’s Prime Minister, Ali Majaman Lamin Zein, accused the neighboring country of installing U.S. military bases there, where terrorist groups are being trained and sent to destabilize this landlocked nation.

At the beginning of last May, Porto Novo banned the entry into national waters of tankers which were to collect crude oil from the recently opened pipeline which goes from Niger to the export terminals in the Gulf of Guinea, praised the press in this city.

However, last May 15, the Beninese authorities authorized the entry into Benin’s territorial waters of a tanker from China, whose National Oil and Gas Corporation participated in the construction of the aforementioned 1,980 km long pipeline.

CNSP spokesman, Major Colonel Amadou Abdramane, recalled the need to comply with the three main agreements to regulate the transport of Nigerian crude oil for export through Benin.

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