Benin had the largest deterioration in peacefulness of any country on the 2020 Global Peace Index (GPI), falling 35 places in the rankings to 106 out of 167 countries, owing to an 11.3 per cent deterioration in overall score. Benin had deteriorations across all three GPI domains, with the largest occurring on the Ongoing Conflict domain.
The intensity of internal conflict indicator had the largest overall deterioration. Sporadic clashes have continued in Benin in 2019-20 since legislative elections were held in April 2019 from which opposition parties were barred. Benin’s former president, Thomas Boni Yayi, went into exile last year after being held under de-facto house arrest by Benin’s current leader, Patrice Talon. The absence of the opposition in the legislative vote has provoked unrest, with violent protests breaking out across the country, including in the capital, Porto Novo, in the south, and in Tchaourou and Kilibo in the centre of the country.
Benin’s relations with neighbouring countries also deteriorated over the past year. Nigeria has closed its border with Benin in an attempt to cut down rice smuggling from its smaller neighbour. Despite talks to resolve the situation, the border continues to be shut to trade.