Benin. A disputed parliamentary election was held on April 28. Only two parties close to President Patrice Talon were allowed to stand as a result of the strict conditions of the electoral law. The Progressive Union (UP) received 47 seats, the Republican Bloc (BR) remaining 36 of the Parliament’s 83 seats. Only about 27% of 4.9 million registered voters voted. The internet was shut down on Election Day.
Two former presidents, Nicéphore Soglo and Boni Yayi, called for a boycott on April 19. The Election Commission forbade their parties to stand.
Protests occurred before and after the election. Security forces hit hard. According to the opposition, at least seven people were killed in various clashes. Yayi was held under house arrest from early May until June 22, but was then allowed to travel abroad for care. Churches and other NGOs tried to mediate during the year without much success and the opposition maintained that it did not recognize Parliament.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of BEN in general and in geography as Benin in particular.
Talon invited a national dialogue in October to dampen tensions, but several opposition parties were refused to participate and therefore held their own counter-conference.
Nigeria’s decision in August to close the border with Benin and other neighboring countries to combat extensive informal border trade and smuggling was another setback for Talon’s government. The World Bank estimates that one fifth of GDP comes from informal border trade, including rice, which Benin has imported from Asia and sold on to Nigeria.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Benin in 2019 was 11,801,040, ranking number 77 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.750% yearly, and the population density was 104.6573 people per km2.
Colony of the French West African group, limited to South from the Gulf of Guinea, to the West from Togo, to East from British Nigeria, to North from the French colonies of Upper Volta and Niger. It has an area of 107,000 sq km.
The coast, 120 km long, is straight and bordered by lagoons; the main ones are those of Grand Popo, Ouidah, Cotonou (which expands to form Lake Nokoué), Porto Novo. The lower Dahomey, up to 9 ° of lat. N., is a forest of oil palms cared for by the natives; to the North. of the ninth parallel there is a region of savannas. The relief is not very pronounced, with the exception of the Atacora chain (from 800 to 900 m.), Which rises with direction from the SW. NE. In the northwestern part of the colony. Almost all the waters of the Dahomey go to the Ouémé (450 km.), Which receives the Zou on the right; another coastal river that flows from N. to S. is the Couffo: abundant in the rainy seasons, they are poor in water in the dry season; and they are navigable only in the lower course and only by pirogues.
The climate of Lower Dahomey includes four seasons: the great rainy season, from April to July; the small dry season, from July to September; the small rainy season, from September to December; the great dry season, from December to April. The air is very humid and very rich in water vapor. In Upper Dahomey there is only one rainy season, from June to December, the shorter the further north you go. The annual rainfall amounts are much lower than in the Ivory Coast (Porto Novo 1260 mm.).
The colony of Dahomey has about 980,000 residents, of which 800 are Europeans (density 9.15). The density is much higher than the average in the lower Dahomey, especially in the region between the Couffo and the Ouémé, around the ancient capital Abomey (9000 residents), And in the lagoon region, where the cities of Porto Novo are located. (21,643 residents, of which 268 Europeans), capital of the colony and Ouidah (9619 residents, of which 129 Europeans). The only important city in Middle Dahomey is Djougou (7000 residents). The density is much lower in the upper Dahomev.