Cotonou - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

The political situation seems to be rocky and deteriorating. - Feb 2020

This is the safest AF post I've been at (I've lived in AF for many years), although you always have to be self-aware and not do anything that would make you an easy target. It's not recommended to go to the city beach, though suburban beaches are fine. - Aug 2018

It's safe. - Jan 2017

No serious ones. - Oct 2015

I believe Cotonou is one of the safest places we have ever lived. It's good to take the usual precautions and avoid walking alone in secluded areas, but even petty theft was pretty rare. - Jun 2015

Niger and Nigeria present all sorts of regional concerns, but there aren't many concerns with day-to-day living. This is especially true if you work for a foreign government or NGO, since you'll have a car - a lot of the crime is petty robbery, and largely victimizes people riding motos at night. - Aug 2014

No. So long as you use common sense, you will be fine. Don't walk outside in the dark: a teacher here was robbed recently while walking to school at 5:45 a.m.) - Jul 2013

There have been a few armed robbery reports from expats during my time here, but they always happen very late at night. If you use good judgment, you don't have anything to worry about. Personally, I've never felt unsafe. - May 2013

Nothing major. - Mar 2013

So long as you’re not stupid, Benin is one of the safest places in Africa. Much of what crime there is comes out of Nigeria. There was a Togolese carjacking crew active when I got here but the Gendarmes tracked them into the bush and killed them. There hasn’t been a problem with carjacking since. There was a brief, late night pedestrian robbery problem in the international residential area but a mob of the residential guards chased two of the robbers down, beat one to death, and sent the other to the hospital in bad shape. It’s been real quiet since then. There are incidences of petty crime but it’s avoidable so long as you’re vigilant. While Boko Haram terrorist activity is on the rise in neighboring Nigeria, and AQIM is on a kidnapping spree in neighboring Mali and Niger, all is quiet in Benin. I haven’t noticed any of the warning signs of radical Islam turning up in Benin. Benin is politically stable and just had peaceful elections that were judged to be free and fair by the international community. - Dec 2011

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