Dahomey: Sounds in the Night

Leaping from his bed one night last January, Dahomey's President Hubert Maga excitedly telephoned military headquarters to report that his residence was being shelled. He soon went back to sleep. As it turned out, the tough, jolly, former schoolteacher had been aroused by the clatter of windblown coconuts pelting down on the mansion's tin roof.

Last week the sounds in the night came from real gunfire as angry mobs swept through the former French West Africa colony, located between Togo and Nigeria on the Gulf of Guinea. In Cotonou, the capital, and...

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