Timeline Benin

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AfricaNet: http://www.africanet.com/countries/benin.htm

  Yoruba masters created decorative masks, headdresses, figures and other objects of art from this area and Nigeria.
 (WSJ, 2/10/98, p.A16)

1471        The Portuguese arrived in Ghana as intermediaries, bringing slaves and other goods from Senegal and Benin in order to sell them to the Asante and other local people.
    (Econ, 2/24/07, p.73)

1600-1900    A succession of 12 kings ruled from Abomey (Dahomey-Benin) and each one built a lavish palace.
    (SFEC, 8/28/98, p.T4)

1717        Apr 26, Pirate Black Sam Bellamy died along with 143 others when their ship, the Whydah, sank off of Wellfleet, Cape Cod. 2 men on the Whydah survived as did 7 others aboard the Mary Anne, a smaller ship loaded with Madeira wine. The slave ship Whydah had just been captured by Bellamy in February as it left Ouidau, Benin, with a load of sugar and indigo as well as chests of silver and gold. 6 or the 9 survivors were later hanged for piracy in Boston. In 1984 the wreck of the ship was discovered by Barry Clifford.
    (WSJ, 9/12/07, p.D9)

1890        French foreign legionnaires massacred the amazonian army of Dahomey (Benin).
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.62)

1892        Nov 16, King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin), led soldiers against the French.
    (HN, 11/16/98)

1946        Dahomey (later Benin) became an Overseas Territory of France.
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/country_profiles/3638535.stm)

1958        Dec 4, A territorial assembly declared Dahomey a republic.
    (EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)

1960        Aug 1, Dahomey (Benin), just west of Nigeria, became independent from France with Hubert Maga as president (1960-1963). Porto Novo was made the capital.
    (WUD, 1994, p.139)(PC, 1992, p.973)(EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)

1961        Aug 1, Dahomey (Benin) seized the Portuguese territory of Ajuda.
    (EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)

1963        Oct 27-1963 Oct 29, Col. Christophe Soglo, chief of staff, assumed power as head of a 3-man provisional government in Dahomey. Pres. Maga became premier (1963-1964).
    (EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)

1964        Jan, The government of Dahomey was revamped and Sourou Migan Apithy became president (1964-1965).
    (EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)

1965         Christophe Soglo became premier (1965-1967) of Dahomey for a 2nd time.
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1967         Alphonse Alley became premier (1967-1968) of Dahomey.
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1968         Zinsou became premier (1968-1969) of Dahomey.
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1969         Paul-Emile de Souza became premier (1969-1970) of Dahomey (later Benin).
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1970         Hubert Maga became premier (1970-1972) of Dahomey (later Benin).
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1972         May 7, Justin Ahomadegbe-Tometin (1917-2002) became president of Dahomey (later Benin) as part of a system that rotated the office between three leading political figures: Ahomadegbe, Hubert Maga, and Sourou-Migan Apithy. He was overthrown on October 26.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Ahomadegb%C3%A9)

1972        Oct 26, Major Mathieu Kerekou (b.1933) took power in Dahomey (later Benin) in a coup and proclaimed it a Marxist-Leninist state.
    (www.answers.com/topic/ahmed-mathieu-kerekou)

1974        Oct 26, Mathieu Kerekou (b.1933) seized power in Dahomey (later Benin) and ruled until 1991. He was elected president in 1996 and served until 2006.
    (WSJ, 3/20/96, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathieu_K%C3%A9r%C3%A9kou)

1975        May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, CŰte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
    (www.sec.ecowas.int/sitecedeao/english/achievements.htm)

1975        Dahomey was renamed as Benin. From 1960-1975 Benin was called the Republic of Dahomey.
    (http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/Cambridge/entries/009/Benin-republic.html)

1989        Benin abolished Communism.
    (http://tinyurl.com/9ryq5)

1990        Mar 1, Benin nullified its constitution.
    (SC, 3/1/02)

1991        Feb 17, Benin held elections for the National Assembly, its first multi-party election since 1964. No party secured an overall majority. The largest grouping was an alliance of the pro-Soglo parties.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beninese_parliamentary_election,_1991)

1991        Mar 10, In Benin President Kerekou was beaten by Nicephore Soglo (b.1934) in the first multi-candidate presidential elections. A runoff on March 24 gave Soglo 67.7% of the vote. Kerekou was granted immunity from prosecution over actions taken since October 1972.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nic%C3%A9phore_Soglo)

1991        Apr 4, In Benin Nicephore Soglo (1991-1996) took office as president. He had defeated Mathieu Kerekou in the countryís first free presidential elections. For the first time in mainland Africa a leader let himself be ousted peacefully.
    (http://people.africadatabase.org/en/person/3534.html)(Econ, 10/24/09, p.20)

1996        Jan 9, Beninís President Nicephoro Soglo's government said that, in an effort to "correct an injustice," it was formally recognizing voodoo as a religion. He declared Jan 10th as a voodoo holiday.
    (www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/34/011.html)

1996        Mar 20, Mathieu Kerekou, former Benin dictator, was elected over incumbent Nicephore Soglo.
    (WSJ, 3/20/96, p.A-1)

1999        Apr 21, In Benin police arrested Yacoubou Adam Fassassi, the Benin ambassador to the UN, for alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
    (SFC, 4/22/99, p.A15)

2000        Jun 23, The Cotonou Agreement, a treaty between the European Union and the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP countries), was signed in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, by 79 ACP countries and the then fifteen Member States of the EU. It entered into force in 2002 and is the latest agreement in the history of ACP-EU Development Cooperation. As of Dec 31, 2007, the Cotonou Agreement ceased to be legal under the rules of the WTO.
    (Econ, 5/28/05, p.78)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.74)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotonou_Agreement)   

2001        Apr 14, As many as 250 suspected child slaves were returned to Benin after being stranded for weeks on a ship with limited supplies.
    (SSFC, 4/15/01, p.D1)

2001        Apr 15, Benin authorities sought Staneslas Abatan and 2 collaborators believed to be responsible for the child slave ship off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It was reported that human cargo had been shipped from Benin to Gabon on the ship MV Etireno over the past 5 years. The Etireno was later reported to have been confused with another ship, which was missing. The slave ship was later held to be a false alarm. 30 of the children on the ferry remained unclaimed after 3 days at dock.
    (SFC, 4/16/01, p.A8)(SFC, 4/17/01, p.A10)(SFC, 4/18/01, p.A13)(SFC, 4/21/01, p.A16)

2003        Jan 10, Benin's National Voodoo Day drew about 12,000 people.
    (AP, 1/10/03)

2003        May 3, In Cotonou, Benin, 16 people died in a late night concert stampede at the gates of the nation's Friendship Stadium.
    (AP, 5/5/03)

2003        Oct 15, Nigerian police returned 74 child workers to Benin. As young as 4 years old, their skin broken and palms callused from months of hauling granite, they received food, clothes and medical care in the West African state of Benin after being rescued from the traffickers who sold them into heavy labor. On Sept. 27 authorities brought back 116 children who had been put to work in the granite quarries of southwest Nigeria.
    (AP, 10/16/03)

2003        Dec 25, A passenger plane bound for Beirut crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from the west African nation of Benin and at least 138 people, mostly Lebanese, were killed. Some 35 people survived.
    (AP, 12/25/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A3)(AP, 12/27/03)

2004        Sep 15, Eight French speaking African countries began retiring over 1 billion in decaying currency with new CFA francs. Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo had until Dec 31 to turn in old bills for new ones.
    (SFC, 9/15/04, p.C8)

2006        Mar 5, Benin held its 4th presidential elections since multi-party democracy was introduced in 1990. A 2nd round would determine the winner.
    (Econ, 3/18/06, p.50)

2006        May 24, In northern Benin a tanker truck overturned and then exploded when people with lanterns began siphoning gasoline. At least 35 people were killed.
    (AP, 5/25/06)

2006        Nov 22, Police in the west African state of Benin arrested two rebel leaders from the Central African Republic (CAR), whose forces are waging a violent offensive in their home country. The leader of the rebel Union of Democratic Forces for Unity, Michel Am Non Droko Djotodia, and his spokesman Abakar Sabone, were apprehended in Benin's capital, Cotonou, under an international arrest warrant. In 2008 President Boni Yayi asked for and obtained the lifting of the international arrest warrant" for the two rebel leaders.
    (AP, 11/25/06)(AFP, 2/19/08)

2007        Jan 1, Li Zhaoxing, China's foreign minister, signed a string of accords in Benin as part of a whistle-stop tour of seven African nations as Beijing bolsters economic ties on the continent. From Benin Li flew to Equatorial Guinea ahead of visits in the coming days to Guinea-Bissau, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea and Botswana.
    (AFP, 1/2/07)

2007        Feb 8, Benin, Nigeria, and Togo formed a new regional body aimed at fast-tracking the integration of their economies. The body, known as the Co-Prosperity Alliance Zone (COPAZ), was formally inaugurated following a mini-summit of Nigeriaís President Olusegun Obasanjo, Beninís President Boni Yayi and Togoís President Faure Gnassingbe.
    (AFP, 2/8/07)

2008        Feb 16, US President George W. Bush in Benin, opening a five-country Africa tour,  stepped up pressure on Kenyan leaders to accept a power-sharing deal to end their country's deadly political crisis.
    (AFP, 2/16/08)

2009        Feb 27, The UN Children's Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
    (AFP, 2/27/09)

2009        Mar 12, In Benin American Peace Corps volunteer Catherine Puzey was found dead in Badjoude. She had earlier reported that a local Peace Corps hire was abusing children.
    (www.peacecorps.gov/resources/media/press/1435/)(SSFC, 5/26/13, p.A8)

2009        In the Ivory Coast a random poll of 10 underage girls in Toulepleu by aid group Save The Children U.K. found that eight performed sexual acts for UN-Benin peacekeepers on a regular basis in order to secure their most basic needs. A 2010 diplomatic cable revealed that "Eight of the 10 said they had ongoing sexual relationships with Beninese soldiers in exchange for food or lodging," citing information shared with the embassy by a protection officer.
    (AP, 9/1/11)

2010        Jul 1, In Benin Investment Consultancy and Computering Services.(ICC) was forced to close, and more than a dozen of its employees were jailed. More than a hundred thousand people lost their savings in a Ponzi scheme run by the company that appeared to be publicly endorsed by the country's President Boni Yayi. In August the government said that more than 130,000 people gave their savings to the company and altogether lost more than $130 million.
    (AP, 9/1/10)

2010        Oct 18, A UN official said flooding in the West African nation of Benin has killed 43 people and left nearly 100,000 homeless, citing numbers collected since the beginning of October.
    (AFP, 10/18/10)

2010        Nov 1, The UN said flooding in Benin has affected more than half a million people, destroyed more than 300,000 acres of crops and killed 81,000 livestock.
    (AP, 11/2/10)

2010        Dec 25, Benin said three West African presidents will fly to Ivory Coast to tell incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo to quit or face force, a sign of mounting regional determination to force him out.
    (Reuters, 12/26/10)

2010        Dec 28, West African leaders Boni Yayi of Benin, Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde met with incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo to deliver an ultimatum from the ECOWAS regional bloc to step down or face removal by force. But Gbagbo's government signaled he was unlikely to agree to cede power to Alassane Ouattara.
    (Reuters, 12/28/10)(SFC, 12/29/10, p.A4)

2010        Beninís population was about 8.7 million people. The average yearly income hovered at around $750.
    (AP, 9/1/10)

2011        Mar 5, Benin's presidential election, due to take place March 6, was postponed until March 13. President Boni Yayi, first elected in 2006, faced 12 opposition candidates in his bid for a second term.
    (AP, 3/6/11)

2011        Mar 13, Benin opened polls for a twice-delayed presidential election after a last-minute scramble to register hundreds of thousands of eligible voters left off voter rolls. Pres. Boni Yayi sought a 2nd term against 13 candidates. Partial and unofficial results indicated President Boni Yayi and his main challenger, Adrien Houngbedji, may be headed for a run-off. On March 18 the country's electoral commission announced that President Thomas Boni Yayi had received more than 53 percent of the vote, giving him an absolute majority.
    (AP, 3/13/11)(SFC, 3/14/11, p.A2)(AFP, 3/15/11)(AP, 3/19/11)

2011        Apr 30, Benin held parliamentary elections. President Boni Yayi's allies won a majority of seats in parliament following the polls.
    (AFP, 5/6/11)

2011        May 7, Pirates robbed the chemical tanker MT Sea King and its 17 Filipino crewmen in the port of Benin's main city, Cotonou. Four days later Christopher Cortez Ceprado, a Filipino seafarer, was found dead on the ship.
    (www.filipinosabroad.com/?p=7134)

2011        Jul 24, Pirates seized the Rbd Anema e Core, an Italian tanker with a crew of 23, off Benin in the Gulf of Guinea.
    (AFP, 7/24/11)

2011        Aug, Benin committed itself to abolishing capital punishment permanently.
    (Econ, 9/24/11, p.73)

2011        Sep 13, Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi held talks in China with his counterpart Hu Jintao on further Chinese investment in the West African nation.
    (AFP, 9/14/11)

2011        Sep 14, Armed pirates raided a tanker off the West African coast and kidnapped 23 sailors, 62 nautical miles from Benin's capital of Cotonou, as the Cyprus-flagged vessel tried to transfer its cargo of crude oil to a Norwegian-registered ship. Analysts believed many of the pirates come from Nigeria, where corrupt law enforcement allows criminality to thrive. The tanker and crew were released on Oct 24 after the oil was unloaded.
    (AP, 9/14/11)(AP, 9/24/11)

2011        Sep 20, Benin announced that China has given it $34 million in loans and grants, part of which will fund an anti-piracy patrol drive off the coast, where hijackings have surged this year.
    (AFP, 9/22/11)

2011        Oct 2, Pirates armed with automatic weapons fired upon and boarded a chemical tanker off Benin before stealing cash, the latest in a wave of such attacks off West Africa.
    (AFP, 10/3/11)

2011        Nov 18, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Benin, marking his second visit to Africa in a heartland of voodoo and warning against "unconditional submission" to the laws of the market and finance.
    (AFP, 11/18/11)

2011        Nov 19, In Benin Pope Benedict XVI called on Africa's leaders to stop depriving their people of hope and to govern responsibly, just hours before he planned to unveil an 87-page pastoral guide for the continent.
    (AP, 11/19/11)

2011        Nov 20, In Benin Pope Benedict XVI led tens of thousands of people in a panoply of African tongues during a Mass in the national soccer stadium. He formally delivered to Africa's bishops an 87-page document known as a treatise. It applies church doctrine to address the continent's ills, especially the wars and conflicts caused by ethnic divisions and has been called a "papal road map" for Africa.
    (AP, 11/20/11)

2011        Dec 10, Benin's justice minister denounced the country's judiciary as one of the most corrupt sectors in the country.
    (AFP, 12/10/11)

2012        Jan 29, Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi was elected the African Union Chairman, taking over the one-year post from Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema at the AU summit meeting in the Ethiopian capital.
    (AFP, 1/29/12)

2012        Feb 18, African leaders began talks in Benin on insecurity in the Sahel region where fresh violence in Mali has sparked what rights groups say is the area's worst human rights crisis in 20 years.
    (AFP, 2/18/12)

2012        Jul 4, The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said Theoneste Bagosora, the most high-profile detainee at the UN court for Rwanda, has been sent to Mali to serve his sentence along with three other prisoners. Seven other genocide suspects convicted by the court have been sent to Benin.
    (AFP, 7/4/12)

2012        Oct 21, In Benin the doctor of Pres. Boni Yayi, Former Minister of Trade Moudjaidou Soumanou and one of the president's nieces Zouberatou Kora were arrested. The next day they were charged with conspiracy and attempted murder in a failed plot to poison the president by changing his medicine with something toxic.
    (AP, 10/23/12)

2012        Dec 17, Benin officials said at least 19 people drowned after a boat capsized on a river near a village in the south.
    (AP, 12/17/12)

2013        Feb 22, In Benin businessman Johannes Dagnon and army commander Pamphile Zomahoun were arrested. Preliminary investigations showed the two had tried to stop President Boni Yayi from returning to Cotonou so they could institute a military state.
    (AP, 3/4/13)

2013        Mar 28, Ousted Central African Republic President Francois Bozize requested exile in Benin days after rebels invaded and overthrew his government of a decade.
    (AP, 3/29/13)

2013        Aug 9, Benin President Boni Yayi sacked his entire government "to breathe a new dynamic" into the 26-member cabinet.
    (Reuters, 8/9/13)

2013        Aug 23, In Benin kidnappers snatched Mike Ozekhome, a Nigerian human rights lawyer. He was held and tortured for 20 days before being released During his abduction 4 policemen who tried to squash the kidnappersí mission were killed in a gun battle.
    (Econ, 9/14/13, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/o4zfhll)

2013        Dec 1, Angelo Houssou, a Benin judge who angered the president of the West African nation, said he fled the country over the weekend and is seeking political asylum in the United States.
    (AP, 12/2/13)

2014        May 14, Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi pardoned prominent businessman and one-time ally Patrice Talon, and his alleged accomplices, who were accused of conspiring to poison him and preparing a coup in October, 2012.
    (AFP, 5/15/14)

2014        May 17, France and five African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) declared war on the Boko Haram extremist Islamic sect. West African leaders met in Paris to improve cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram and other militant groups.
    (Reuters, 5/17/14)(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A5)

2014        Nov 25, Beninís country's health minister said 9 people have died from Lassa fever, a viral disease common in West Africa with symptoms similar to Ebola. Lassa fever is in the same virus family as Ebola.
    (AP, 11/26/14)

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