A number of civil society groups and opposition parties, including the Front pour le Sursaut Patriotique (FSP), held a demonstration in Cotonou against President Patrice Talon on Friday, March 9. Protesters gathered at the Place de l'Etoile Rouge to hold a peaceful march. According to media reports, security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Barricades of burning tires were also erected in the city center. Further demonstrations are likely in the coming days and weeks.
Opposition leaders said that peaceful marches were organized in Cotonou, Comè, Porto Novo, Abomey, and Parakou. There is mounting discontent among the Beninese population amid what opposition activists see as President Patrice Talon’s poor management of the country. 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 in Cotonou are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all 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.