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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dahomey: Coup within a Coup
Author:Lemarchand, RenéISNI
Periodical:Africa Report
Geographic term:Benin
Subjects:coups d'état
Politics and Government
Military, Defense and Arms
Abstract:Dahomey's political problems are tortuous. The task of government has been to achieve a working relationship between the major rival power centers: the region of Abomey in the southweet, of Forto-Novo in the southeast, and the underdeveloped north. The centralizing traditions of the French colonial system took insufficient account of the regional and ethnic tensions. The economic stagnation is perhaps irremediable because nowhere else in Africa there has been a greater disparity between the demands of organized labor and the indigenous resources available to meet these demands. Organized labor has been the decisive factor behind every governmental crisis since independence. The article describes in detail the development of Dahomean politics with the two interventions of the army, respectively in October 1963 and November 1965, and the coup of December 1967 of the 'jeunes cadres de l'Armée'. This peaceful overthrow may have ripped away the fragile scaffolding that made Dahomey a nation, so that it may be a prelude to a more devastating sequence of events.