Benin Police, Gendarmes Surround Benin TV Station Amid Unrest

Security forces in Benin surrounded the headquarters of a closely held television station in the commercial capital, Cotonou, on Wednesday as opposition officials tried to participate in a program, a media union said.

Police and gendarmes encircled the offices of Canal 3 as officials including Candide Azannai, a critic of President Thomas Boni Yayi, tried to deliver televised statements, according to the website of La Nouvelle Tribune, a Beninese newspaper. Benin’s Interior Ministry had earlier banned a planned march by the government’s opponents to protest the attempted arrest of Azannai.

Tear gas was fired around the Canal 3 building and roads leading to the broadcaster were blocked, Franck Kpocheme, head of the Union of Beninese Media Professionals, said in an e-mailed statement.

Boni Yayi’s ruling political alliance won 33 out of 83 seats and 20 constituencies out of 24 in parliamentary elections held on April 26. The 62-year-old leader has ruled the West African nation since 2006.

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