Béhanzin

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Béhanzin

 

(also Gbéhanzin). Born circa 1851; died 1906, in Algiers. Ruler of Dahomey, the state of the Fon people, from 1890 to 1894.

Béhanzin was already the de facto ruler of Dahomey during the last years of his father Glélé’s life, when he showed himself to be a supporter of decisive resistance to France. During Béhanzin’s rule, the Fon people waged a stubborn struggle against the French forces that had invaded their country. After the fall of Abomey, the capital of Dahomey, in November 1892, Béhanzin retreated north with the remnants of his army but did not cease fighting with the invaders. In January 1894, he was handed over to the French by the Fon nobility and exiled by the French to the island of Martinique and later to Algiers.