Clashes between police forces and protesters have occurred in the central town of Save (Collines department) on Thursday, January 9. According to local sources, clashes started after the arrest of a local resident by police forces. Participants had erected barricades and blocked the interstate Cotonou-Parakou road for several hours before the road was reopened to traffic.
Tensions remain high in the area and further disruptive demonstrations are possible in the coming days. A heightened security presence is expected to continue and additional clashes between protesters and police officers cannot be ruled out.
Sociopolitical tensions are high in Benin after election-related demonstrations and unrest began following the April 28 legislative elections. In April 2019, Save was the scene of violent protests between local residents and security forces; gunshots were exchanged leading to the death of two protesters while at least 30 officers were wounded in the clashes.
Individuals in Save are advised to monitor developments of the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, prepare for consequent traffic disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.