Benin police last Wednesday stopped a protest march planned in Cotonou by the country's Human Rights League (LDH), against alleged human rights violations in the country, witnesses said. The estimated 40 security men armed with tear gas canisters and truncheons, stormed the Cotonou Labour Office Square where the demonstrators had assembled for the march.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this has continued its consideration of an initial report from Benin on how that country was implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In response to questions raised by Committee Experts on Thursday afternoon, the members of Benin's delegation said that the Government was convinced that the process of decentralization would allow the population, through elections, to increase its more

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with Benin's Health Ministry, has launched a programme aimed at improving early childhood development by reducing the incidence of preventable diseases and ailments linked to poor nutrition.

The political bureau of the Benin Renaissance party, [former President Nicephore] Soglo wing, has condemned the ordinance issued by the government in power. It also noted, with regret, the gradual drift of the country towards dictatorship, the annihilation of moral and political values, the increase in the embezzlement of public funds, corruption at all levels of government, incessant strikes and general social unrest, and the suppression of all anti-government voices.

In Benin, the determination of President Kerekou's government to fight corruption is bearing fruit. In this connection, nine magistrates have just been arrested. They are accused of stealing more than 1bn CFA francs.