Links between violent extremism and illicit activities in Benin

This report explores how violent extremists in northern Benin use illicit activities to finance and grow their operations.

The first security incident attributed to violent extremist groups in Benin occurred in May 2019. Prior to this, though, these groups had already been taking advantage of illicit activities in the country to mobilise human, financial, operational and logistical resources. In addition to addressing the threat and safeguarding their populations and property, Benin and its neighbours need to step up their efforts to tackle the supply chains that enable these groups to operate and finance themselves.

About the authors

This report was written by Jeannine Ella A Abatan and William Assanvo, Senior Researchers at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Regional Office for West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. It was produced under the supervision of Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni, Director of the Regional Office. Other contributors include: Michaël Matongbada, Patrice Affo, Charles Lougoudou, Léonce Sacca and Inoussa Aboudou Fofana.

Image: © Amelia Broodryk/ISS

Development partners
This project was supported by the Conseil de l’Entente at the regional level and by the Agence Béninoise de Gestion Intégrée des Espaces Frontaliers (ABeGIEF) at the national level. Funding was provided by the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark, and by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundation and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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