Violent protests and associated disturbances have been reported near Haie Vive in Cotonou on Wednesday evening (local time), May 1. Roads are also reportedly blocked from Place de Martyrs to the Vedeko roundabout. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are likely near any demonstrations. Further clashes between protesters and police are possible over the coming hours.
The latest political demonstrations and unrest follow the April 28 legislative elections. 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 the wake of the April 28 election, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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