#Benin: end of Boni Yayi’s house arrest

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Police left Saturday morning the neighborhood of former president Benin Thomas Boni Yayi, as well as the area around his home, after almost two months of encirclement.

The street in Cotonou’s Cadjehoun neighborhood has been completely liberated by police officers filtering the passage since 1 May and preventing the former head of state, who described the controversial legislative elections as “electoral coup d’etat”. April, to receive visitors or to leave his home.

“We witnessed a gradual release that began around midnight,” said AFP a close of Mr. Boni Yayi who lives with him.

The release has become final since this morning at 6 am, “continued the source.

“Cadjehoun is free from any police device,” the police said in a message sent to the press.

No immediate reaction was recorded from former President Boni Yayi who led Benin from 2006 to April 2016.

“He is still in his room and has not even left this morning,” assures his close relative on the phone by AFP.

“We are longing for peace now,” Beninese President Patrice Talon said on Friday during a working session with the king, the traditional chiefs and officials of the commune of Savè, a town that has seen violent riots on 13 February. June 15th.

“I personally took action … other initiatives will follow,” the president said.

On Thursday, during a similar meeting with the king and personalities of Tchaourou, the original commune of Mr. Boni Yayi, he had reassured not to blame his predecessor

“I do not have a personal problem with Boni Yayi”, assured the president, reproaching him however “his lack of wisdom”.

On May 1, a few days after the parliamentary elections in which the opposition was unable to present candidates, hundreds of people gathered around the former president’s home, fearing he would be arrested by order to have asked his successor to stop the electoral process and the people to rise.

The army and the police finally dislodged the protesters by opening fire on the crowd.

According to Amnesty International, the crackdown has left at least “four people shot dead” (seven according to the opposition).

About 60 people have been arrested as a result of these demonstrations and are still detained pending trial.

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