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One Killed In Benin After Army Clears Protesters

Local health officials said one person died and six were injured in the shooting on Thursday after Benin’s troops wiped out protesters in the town of Flashpoint three days before President Patrice Talon sought re-election. It was.

Protests broke out at the opposition fortress prior to Sunday’s vote. Critics say it has been distorted in Talon’s favor after major opposition leaders abstained from crackdowns.





Talon has been accused of cracking down on the enemy
AFP / Yannick Folly

A line of military vehicles arrived early Thursday to disperse the demonstrators in the central city of Save, the flare point of the protest two years ago. There, a makeshift barricade between the trees and the tires blocked the main road.

According to AFP correspondents on the scene, the military first fired tear gas, and then further explosions were heard as soldiers fired in the air from armored vehicles. It was not clear if they were a live round or a rebellion round.

The director of Save’s local clinic said he had received one dead and six injured in a gunshot.



Opposition supporters have set up makeshift barricades to block traffic to protest Talon


Opposition supporters have set up makeshift barricades to block traffic to protest Talon
AFP / Yannick Folly

“We admitted them to our clinic … one died and six were injured in a bullet in a live round,” said Jose Godjo, head of Save’s Boni clinic. I will. “All the injured were transferred to Save’s hospital.”

Benin, between Togo and Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea, was once hailed as a vibrant multi-party democracy in often troubled areas.

But critics say the country has spiraled into authoritarianism after Talon was first elected in 2016.



Map of Benin finding anxiety in Save and Tchaourou


Map of Benin finding anxiety in Save and Tchaourou
AFP / Dario INGIUSTO

The cotton tycoon faces two lesser-known rivals on Sunday-most major opposition figures are disqualified from living or running in exile.

Talon, 62, is campaigning based on his economic records, including improvements to key infrastructure such as roads, water and energy supplies.

On the last day of the campaign, the economic capital, Cotonou, was adorned with a blue poster of Talon and his running companion, Mariam Tarata.



Talon seen here with his running mate Maria Mutarata in a Cotonou campaign poster is expected to win on Sunday


Talon seen here with his running mate Maria Mutarata in a Cotonou campaign poster is expected to win on Sunday
AFP / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

However, the usual enthusiasm for the presidential election was lacking.

“This is the first time we have organized such a presidential election since the revival of the multi-party system in 1990,” said Expedit Ologou, a Venetian political scientist.

“And where the re-election of the president seems to be only formal.”



Ground soldier in central Benin killed one in pre-voting protest


Ground soldier in central Benin killed one in pre-voting protest
AFPTV / Yannick FOLY

After 17 years of military junta along the Marxist-Leninist line, the former French colony opened its doors to multi-party democracy in 1990.

According to critics, Talon used special economic crime and terrorist courts and electoral reform as a means of disqualifying the opposition.

The political crisis after the April 2019 parliamentary elections is still fresh in many memories. Tensions increased over the large-scale opposition that broke up when security forces fired live ammunition.

Political parties allied with Talon won all seats after the opposition group was virtually banned. After that, some people went into exile.

The 2019 election law amendment also required presidential candidates to be sponsored by at least 16 lawmakers or mayors. Of the 159 elected civil servants, only six belong to the opposition.

In short, election officials were disqualified from running for Sunday’s vote because of the lack of necessary paperwork.

Only two opposition candidates were approved. Former Minister Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoue, a dissident candidate for the opposition Democratic Party.

Tensions have increased in the weeks before the vote. Major opposition lawmakers were arrested for trying to destabilize the election.

This week, a judge in the Court of Special Economic Crimes and Terrorism fled the country, claiming that the government had pressured him to seek accusations against his adversaries.

The government dismissed accusations such as “political manipulation” and claimed that the exiled persons were trying to invalidate the election.

“His record is very positive, but he never wins the election in advance,” said Wilfried Bony, director of communications at Talon. “Elections must be parties.”

Analysts say low turnout can now be a real problem.



One Killed In Benin After Army Clears Protesters Source link One Killed In Benin After Army Clears Protesters

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