China’s first shipment of crude from Niger has been blocked by a border dispute between the landlocked West African nation and its southern neighbor.

Benin barred exports of the fuel from its port after junta-led Niger refused to open its land border for goods coming from the south, Benin President Patrice Talon said on Wednesday

“If you want to load your oil in our waters, you can’t view Benin as an enemy and at the same time expect your oil to cross our territory,” he said in a statement. “We’re open to working with Niger. They’re the ones that refused to allow trucks to cross.”

The blocked shipments are part of a $400 million commodity-backed loan from China National Petroleum Corp. Niger, which borrowed the funds from China at 7% interest, plans to repay the debt by shipping oil to the Asian nation for 12 months.

Energy shipments will help accelerate economic growth to 11% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, making it the fastest-growing nation in sub-Saharan Africa. The exports will also help Niger’s military rulers clear arrears on more than $600 million of missed debt payments after the country lost access to the regional bond market.

CNPC built a 1,200-mile pipeline to move oil from Niger to Benin, part of a $4.6 billion investment in Niger’s petroleum industry. The country was expected to start shipping 90,000 barrels per day this month, and increase it to 110,000 barrels a day once the pipeline is fully operational.

CNPC didn’t respond to requests for comment sent by email. A spokesman for Niger’s junta declined to comment. 

The Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc, closed land and air borders with Niger last year in a bid to convince the military junta, which seized power in a July coup, to restore civilian rule. The sanctions were lifted earlier this year, but Niger has kept its land borders with Benin closed.

“Benin immediately implemented measures to lift sanctions and open our borders,” Talon said. “It’s unfortunate to note that since then, Niger hasn’t done the same.”

The West African Oil Pipeline Company held a meeting in Cotonou last week about transportation tariffs, maritime operations and the logistics of the first anticipated oil shipment, according to its website.

Talon also warned that Chinese vessels can’t remain in Benin waters indefinitely.

“We told the Chinese: be careful, there cannot be Chinese boats in our waters to load Nigerien products that the Nigeriens themselves have banned crossing Benin,” he said.