Thousands of Beninese took to the streets of Cotonou on Thursday, June 22, to protest against President Patrice Talon’s economic reforms. Opposition movements, civil society groups, and unions marched throug the city from the Labor Exchange building (Bourse du Travail) to Red Star Square (Place de l’Etoile Rouge) to denounce privatizations of public companies, layoffs, forced evictions, and alleged civil rights violations.
There is mounting discontent among the population against what detractors see as Talon’s poor management of the economy. Benin is currently facing a severe economic crisis, with unemployment at its highest point and purchasing power at its lowest in recent memory. Civil servant strikes and protests have become common in recent months.
Individuals across the country are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid any future protests, as violence may flare up without warning.
On a more general note, some Western governments advise against travel to the far north of the country - including areas along the Nigerien and Burkinabe borders - due to security concerns.
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