INTRODUCTION The Republic of Benin has officially honoured those who died defending the country in a recent coup attempt.
INTRODUCTION The Republic of Benin has officially honoured those who died defending the country in a recent coup attempt. And at the United Nations, the Security Council met on Monday (7 February) to consider a complaint by Benin that it was attacked by "imperialists and their mercenaries" on the 16th of January.
SYNOPSIS: President Mathieu Kerekou led the mourning for those who died when a group of black and white mercenaries allegedly flew into Benin and attempted to stage a coup d'etat. The government said that after several hours of fighting the mercenaries withdrew.
The nationality of the mercenaries hasn't been revealed but President Kerekou blamed the operation on a former President, Emile Derlin Zinsou. He said the mercenaries left behind a considerable quantity of sophisticated arms and documents before they fled aboard a DC-7 aircraft which brought them to the country's capital, Cotonou. Meanwhile, one of the speakers at the Security Council was Radha Krishna Ramphul of Mauritius.
Another delegate to speak was Ambassador Ignace Karuhije of Rwanda. He and other delegates said the attack on Benin was an attack on all Africa. They said Guinea, Uganda and other African states had been subjected to similar attacks in the past.
Many delegates agreed with Benin's claim that it was a plan by "colonialists trying to win back Benin and unseat the revolutionary regime." A draft resolution allowing a special three-man mission to investigate the incident and report back to the Council by the 24th of February is expected to be approved by the meeting. The Benin government has released a long list of captured arms and ammunition. It says some are of French, Belgian, United States, British and Spanish origin, some are of the type used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others have Arabic inscriptions.