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Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI, who won a second five-year term in March 2011, has attempted to stem corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.


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Military

Military branches
Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin Air Force (Force Aerienne du Benin, FAB) (2011)

Military service age and obligation
18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2012)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 2,095,373
Females age 16-49 2,038,351 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 1,385,065
Females age 16-49 1,400,045 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 108,496
Female 104,526 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 131
1% of GDP (2009)


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  Benin (Porto-novo):


  GPS points from Benin (Porto-novo)

Bassoukou Benin (general)

Lougba Departement Du Collines

Tiapeta Benin (general)

Iaia Benin (general)

Ara Departement De La Donga

Ga Barouka Benin (general)

Kokokolo Benin (general)

Dienendonanga Benin (general)




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