Thursday, June 4, 2009


Opposition coalition accuses the Government

Due to the ongoing dramas taking place in Benin healthcare system, the several and repeated strikes in the healthcare sector resulting in the death of children and pregnant women, the Opposition coalition of G4, G13 and Force Clé voices its indignation. The Opposition leaders accuse President Boni Yayi’s Government of what they see as indifference on its part. Here is the joined statement that they released on Monday, May 25, 2009:

Health centers, at district level, at commune level, at the level of the sanitary areas, in fact have been no longer working. In the best case, one meet Monday and Friday, some health workers frustrated and deluded. The people, confused, are now forced to turn either to self-medication or to private healthcare centers, of which most of the best are poorly supervised, with neither the staff nor the appropriate equipment. In public health, dramas are being played daily, with losses of human lives, including children and pregnant women.

This long paralysis almost incomprehensible of the health system in our country is due, according to the workers and leaders of different labor unions to:

- A lack of medical equipment;

- A lack of staff in all medical professions;

- Disparities or inequities in payments of a number of financial gains owed to workers (bonuses, allowances ...)

- Promises or unfulfilled commitments regarding professional reclassification or transfer of a number of workers in the health sector, poor management of human resources.

The FCBE/UMPP State, its government and its head, up to day, have not felt the need to give any explanation or even any attention to the cries of distress of the population and health personnel. President Yayi Boni and his government so love the people that they leave them dying in silence. Those who are alive are struggling in this situation of acute social crisis and insecurity. They are drenched with the immoral shuttle of official vehicles and bustle of the "presidential visits" punctuated with meetings of propaganda, and "ministerial visits" including the visit of the Minister of Health in "search of arable land" and "young people to recruit into agriculture ", and "explanations tours" of ministers, of heads of central public administration, culminating in marches of support, religious cults of support and even adulation and praise to the glory of the President of the Republic. Some media organizations, especially the State media, lack neither the zeal, nor the ingenuity to fill our ears, our eyes, and our minds. In addition, in the silence, children, pregnant women, poor people have been dying before the closed door of the care and delivery room.

Faced with this situation, political organizations united in the Union makes the Nation (G4, G13 and Force Clé).

- Express their sincere sympathy with the Beninese people of urban and rural areas for the human, moral and material dramas they have been undergoing because of the almost complete paralysis of the health system in our country;

- Strongly denounce the indifference displayed by the Government and its head and diversionary maneuvers organized to hide the real suffering of our people and divert attention, including attention of foreign public opinion, to images falsely idyllic regarding the country’s situation

- Require that the Government start without delay, direct, frank and open dialogue with employees about the problems they pointed out, that it resolve them diligently, instead of running away from the real problems and engaging in an illegal and morally offensive campaign;

- Ask MPs to question the Government on the crisis in the health sector;

- Call on workers, including health workers of all categories, to be patient, reasonable, but also open to dialogue, so that the talks with the Government lead as earlier as possible to a resumption of work in the highest interest of the overwhelming majority of citizens, who have been arrogantly laughed at by a minority which came to power under the conditions that you know, and wishes to confiscate this power through diversion and propaganda.

The Union makes the Nation calls on all genuine democrats in our country to commit themselves further to sensitizing and raising the consciousness of our people, so that they are not, once again, deceived or being the victims of demagoguery and populism, for none will be allowed anymore to say, "We did not know" or "We have fooled ourselves." The more profound is the night, the nearer is the day.

Cotonou, 25 May 2009

Coordination of Unit makes the Nation


The event was celebrated at South Africa Embassy

At the South African Embassy in Cotonou, Benin officials, local diplomatic community, and South Africans living in Benin met late Wednesday evening to celebrate the end of the apartheid regime on March 17, 1992 thanks to a referendum, which resulted in the abolition of the system of racial discrimination in place in South Africa.

Alfred Cossi Chodaton

The Benin Government was represented at the ceremony by a delegation headed by Mr. Désiré Adadja, Minister in charge of Communication and Information Technology and Mr. Justin ADAMAI, Minister in charge of Environment and Ecology. Other institutions were also represented. The Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Robert Dossou represented his Institution. Joseph Gnonlonfoun represented the Audiovisual and Communication High Authority (HAAC), Moïse Mensah represented the High Commissar of Concerted Governance. There were also MPs who attended the ceremony

The ceremony scheduled to start at 7 p.m. began with the National Anthems of both countries. Then the South African Ambassador in Benin, Sikose Ntombazana Mji, delivered her speech. In her address, after pointing out the progress made by South Africa since the end of apartheid regime in 1992, she related the involvement of South Africa at the AU level for the setting up of NEPAD and MAEP and the history of diplomatic relationships between Benin Republic and Republic of South Africa. She also praised the economical and diplomatic relationships between both countries that she qualified them as excellent. She talked about the investment of MTN in the GSM sector in Benin and the presence on Benin market of different foods and drinks made in South Africa. She concluded by expressing her desire for these relationships to improve further.

Désiré Adadja, on his part, as the representative of Benin Government, called to the minds of the attendance the economical and political achievements of South Africa since the end of the apartheid regime. He emphasized the role of its leaders, Nelson Mendela, Tabo M’Béki and so on. He expressed his satisfaction and admiration with the involvement of South African leadership in conflict prevention and resolution on the continent. He said that the Benin Government feels deeply grateful towards South Africa. Finally, he congratulated the current South African President, Jacob Zuma for his election in the last April.

He ended his address by hoping that the relationships between both countries be deepened, extended, and diversified. It was an occasion for both countries to reaffirm their commitments to African Unity. Afterwards, a cocktail party took place in the Embassy.

This celebrate was actually due to take place on April 27, which was the day, in 1994, when the first democratic election was held in South Africa, an election during which all adults could vote irrespective of their race, and the day, in 1997, when the new constitution took effect.

Before then, since the end of World War II in the 40’s, the country has been under apartheid regime. With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of ``white-only'' jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent).

In late 1991, the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), a multiracial forum set up by de Klerk and Mandela, began efforts to negotiate a new constitution and a transition to a multiracial democracy with majority rule. In March 1992, voters in a referendum open only to whites endorsed constitutional reform efforts by a wide margin.
This kind of ceremony at the South African Embassy in Cotonou aiming at celebrating this major turning point in the country’s history is the first since this Embassy has been installed in Benin in 2007.