Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Niger is facing a dangerous escalation in armed conflicts linked to the oil sector after a group opposed to the ruling military junta announced an attack on an oil pipeline funded by the Chinese company PetroChina.

This pipeline extends a distance of about two thousand kilometers from the Agadem field in Niger to the coast of the Republic of Benin, with a capacity of up to 90 thousand barrels per day and is part of a deal worth $400 million with the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation.

These attacks come in a complex context, as Niger has witnessed increasing political and security tensions since the July 2023 coup.

The National Liberation Front, which was formed after the coup, stated that the goal of its attacks was to pressure Chinese partners to cancel the oil export deal.

The Front indicated that if this attempt fails, it will take other measures to disrupt all oil assets in the country.

It is noteworthy that this attack came a day after another incident that resulted in the killing of six soldiers who were guarding the pipeline in the Dosso area, and no party has yet claimed responsibility for this attack.

Armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS operate in this region, which further complicates the security landscape in Niger.

Neither the government of Niger nor the companies concerned, such as PetroChina and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation, have yet responded to requests for comment on these developments, leaving the situation open to further escalation if a political and security solution to the crisis is not reached.

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