French journalist detained in Benin after entering a “military zone” in the north released

Authorities in Benin have released a French journalist arrested on Sunday after allegedly entering an area in the north of the country closed by the army in the face of increased attacks by jihadist groups in the area.

According to information gathered by the 24 heures au Benin news portal, journalist Emilien David, a correspondent for TV5 Monde and ‘Ouest-France’, has been released after appearing before the Court for the Repression of Economic Infringements and Terrorism (CRIET).

THE journalist was arrested in the locality of Matéri, located in the department of Atacora, without the authorities having pronounced themselves on the motives. However, local media reported that he had entered a “military zone” to cover the security situation.

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Several attacks have been reported in northern Benin over the past few months, including an attack in February in a national park near the border with Burkina Faso and Niger that resulted in nine deaths, including a French national, as confirmed by the authorities.

A report published in June 2021 stated that northern Benin presents several of the conditions that have allowed jihadist groups to extend their inexorable advance in the Sahel countries, with an eye on moving towards the Gulf of Guinea.

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