Benin presidential candidate wounded after shots were fired at his car

Feb 6 (AFP/APP): A Benin presidential candidate was wounded after shots were fired at his car soon after he filed his papers for the April presidential election, family members and the government said on Saturday.

Ganiou Soglo, a former minister and son of ex-president Nicephore Soglo, was wounded on Friday on the way to his farm in Zinvie, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the West African country’s commercial capital Cotonou.

He was one of 19 politicians, who have filed papers for the April 11 ballot, including the incumbent Patrice Talon. Soglo was treated at a hospital in Cotonou. “He is out of danger, but to remove the bullet, that will have to be in Ghana or Morocco,” a Soglo family member told AFP. In a communique, Soglo said he was focused on his recovery and medical treatment after surviving a “vile” attack, without giving details.

“I assure you nothing will undermine my commitment to freedom.” Many Benin opposition figures are either in exile or are barred from running in the election. That has prompted criticism that the former French colony, once seen as a model of democracy, has veered into authoritarianism under Talon. Police have opened an investigation but have yet to issue a statement.

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