Many museums in Europe and America are facing a financial crisis and from recent reports, it would not be unreasonable to assume that they may be tempted to sell, loan, transfer, or exchange African artefacts they are illegally holding, such as the Benin bronzes without anybody taking much notice


The Benin Plan of Action is no plan of action and does not deal with restitution of the looted Benin bronzes. After 50 years Africans must demand a concrete time frame within which the artefacts are to be returned as a condition for participating in future meetings

The African Union's new chairman faced tough challenges Sunday as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned that a furious row between Sudan and South Sudan threatened regional security. Thomas Boni Yayi, the president of Benin, vowed to work for peace in his one-year tenure as the 54-member bloc's rotating head, as sideline talks at the two-day summit tried to tackle several hotspots across the continent.

Benin has launched a major campaign to arrest growing drop-out rates as schools begin a new term. The one-year campaign is expected to encourage parents to allow their children to stay enrolled in school. With a national enrolment rate of 87.3 per cent, Benin has an impressive record. But it has been difficult to keep the children in school, watering down the gains.

Pirates have hijacked an Italian diesel tanker off Benin in western Africa in an attack of the kind more usually associated with Somalia. Assailants boarded the RBD Anema e Core in the Gulf of Guinea, officials in Benin and Italy confirmed. The Gulf of Guinea has become increasingly important for its potential energy reserves which have attracted international interests, BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy reports from Dakar.