Skip to main content


Benin has detailed counterterrorism provisions within its Criminal Code, linking a series of predicate offences to relevant intent and impact on the State. The provisions are drafted broadly with a mandatory life sentence. They generally require serious impact on the State and an intent to intimidate the public or coerce government conduct. There is no carve-out from the definition of terrorism for the exercise of fundamental human rights. Benin has effectively abolished the death penalty following a decision by its Constitutional Court in 2016.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Benin defines terrorism as any one of a number of predicate offences that

by its nature or its context, may seriously harm the State and committed intentionally for the purpose of seriously intimidating the population or unduly coercing the public authorities to do what they are not obliged to do or to abstain from doing what they are required to do, perverting the fundamental values ​​of society and destabilize constitutional, political, economic structures and/or institutions or social rights of the Nation, to harm the interests of other countries or an international organisation.Art. 161, Criminal Code of Benin.

Predicate offences include attacks on the life or bodily integrity of a person, or abduction or kidnapping; hijacking of a ship or aircraft; cyber crime; the manufacture or possession of lethal or explosive machines or devices; the acquisition, of explosive devices; and offences in connection with weapons of mass destruction.Art. 162, Criminal Code of Benin.  

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Benin is a State Party to all of the main United Nations terrorism treaties.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Benin has also ratified the two African Union treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention State Party
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Terrorism is criminalized in Benin's Penal Code with a mandatory, blanket prison sentence of life imprisonment for any terrorist offence.Art. 166, Criminal Code of Benin.Legal persons (companies) may be held criminally responsible in addition to persons.Art. 167, Criminal Code of Benin.  

Recruiting for terrorist purposes or receiving training in terrrorism are also specific criminal offences.Art. 163(6) and (7), Criminal Code of Benin.These offences may be commited anywhere not only on the territory of Benin. Justifying or glorifying acts of terrorism are also offences.Art. 163(10), Criminal Code of Benin.Organising a meeting room for a terrorist group or housing terrorists are also offences.Art. 163(11), Criminal Code of Benin.

Domestic Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies

Terrorist acts have been perpetrated with increasing frequency in recent years.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been providing technical assistance to Benin in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of terrorism cases.


Code penal de Benin (2018)