NIAMEY - Niger has temporarily stopped issuing authorizations for oil product deliveries to neighboring Mali unless they are destined to the United Nation's peacekeeping mission in the country, the government said.
In a statement dated Sept. 21 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Niger said it would also revoke authorizations that had already been issued, but did not specify reasons for the suspension.
Niger is one of the few countries in West Africa that refines enough fuel for its local market from a small oil refinery with capacity of around 20,000 barrels-per-day (bpd). Excess production is exported to other countries in the region.
The U.N. has a peacekeeping mission in Mali to help fight an Islamist insurgency.
A Mali government spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Niger reduced refined fuel exports by 75% in early May to protect and boost national stocks amid a global rise in fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine. It then banned refined fuel exports with immediate effect in June, claiming its efforts were being offset by petrol stations making "fraudulent" international sales of refined fuel meant for local consumption.
(Reporting by Boureima Balima, Additional reporting by Sofia Christensen, Writing by Sofia Christensen, Editing by James Macharia Chege)