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Benin

Yearbook 2012

Benin. According to countryaah, President Thomas Boni Yayi was elected President of the African Union (AU) in January for a year. He succeeded Equatorial Guinea's president in the post.

2012 Benin

In June, Yayi hosted the annual Nordic-African summit, which included, among others, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the country in August as the last arrest during a tour of Africa. In late October, European Commission President Josť Mario Barroso made his first visit there. In addition to entering into a loan agreement of EUR 50 million, Barroso and Yayi discussed the crisis in West African Mali.

Just before Barroso's visit, a suspected plot against the president was revealed. Yayi's doctor, a sibling and a former trade minister were arrested, suspected of planning to poison the president by exchanging his medicine for poison. Shortly thereafter, an arrest warrant was issued against a businessman, Patrice Talon, who had previously funded the presidential election campaigns as well as a companion to Talon. Talon, who was abroad, denied the charges. Arguments about business contracts were mentioned as a possible motive for the plot.

Pirate attacks continued off the coast of Guinea during the year and spread west toward Togo. Up to September, the number of reported attacks was slightly higher than in the corresponding period in 2011. The pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are often focused on stealing cargo, e.g. oil, and the risk of violence is great, warned international shipping organizations. Benin and neighboring Nigeria continued to patrol the waters, and Benin hosted a conference on anti-piracy.

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