Clashes between the population and the security forces erupted Thursday in Savè, in central Benin, the bastion of former head of state Boni Yayi, the main opponent of President Patrice Talon, according to concordant local sources.
« There are clashes between the armed men and the populations, » Loukiman Osséni, a local resident contacted by the AFP, told AFP.
Several worried residents reported that « the inter-state Cotonou-Savè main road of the country remained barricaded » throughout the day, and reported exchanges of fire in the evening.
Several travelers on their way to the north of the country had to turn back, fearing that they would be “taken to task”.
« No vehicle is going back and forth, » said Célestin Tomèdé, a traveler contacted late in the afternoon.
The clashes appear to have been sparked by the arrest of an individual by the police, according to residents of Savé.
The authorities, contacted by the AFP, have not followed up and no reliable assessment is currently available.
The commune of Savè had recorded violent clashes following the disputed legislative elections of April 2019, which the opposition parties could not stand for.
The population and the security forces exchanged fire, which left two civilians dead and several dozen wounded among the police.