Benin will hold legislative elections on Sunday, April 28, amid building political unrest following the March 5 ban on all key opposition parties from the elections. Protests against the exclusion of opposition parties remain likely for the foreseeable future, and violent clashes between opposition and government supporters cannot be ruled out.
Beninese politics is currently split between the supporters of current president Patrice Talon and the supporters of former president Thomas Boni Yayi. The National Independent Electoral Commission’s decision to bar all major opposition parties from participating in the April 28 elections was reportedly made without Talon’s input or approval, although opposition supporters claim Talon was responsible for the ban. Supporters of the Yayi-affiliated opposition party Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (Forces Cauris pour un Bénin émergent, FCBE) have held multiple protests in Parakou, Cotonou, and other urban centers nationwide since the March 5 imposition of the ban.
Individuals in Benin are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public political demonstrations due to the risk of violence, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized disruptions on April 28, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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