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Benin’s former First Lady Rosine Soglo dies

Rose-Marie Honorine Vieyra died at the age of 87 on Sunday 25 July at her home in Cotonou.The former First…

Rose-Marie Honorine Vieyra died at the age of 87 on Sunday 25 July at her home in Cotonou.The former First Lady was suffering from cardiovascular problems and had been admitted to a clinic in Cotonou for several days. As her health deteriorated, she asked to return to her home in Cotonou where she died on Sunday at around 4pm according to her entourage.

More than a First Lady, this lawyer from an Afro-Brazilian family, was of all the political battles with her husband Nicephore Soglo, the first democratically elected president of Benin between 1991 and 1996.

She was affectionately called “Mama” by her family and friends, and on 24 March 1992, she founded the Renaissance du Benin (RB), a political party supporting her husband and president, Nicephore Soglo.  Mr. Soglo, now on a medical trip to Paris, paid tribute to her as a “fighter.” “It is this woman who helped me to be strong,” he said.

Benin’s sitting President Patrice Talon, who has very tense relations with Rosine Soglo’s political family, paid tribute to the memory of the deceased. “We will keep the image of a brave and exceptional woman. On behalf of the Nation, I offer my heartfelt condolences to President Soglo, to their children Lehady and Galiou, as well as to the Vieyra and Soglo families,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Consistently elected MP since the creation of her party, this iron lady, known for her outspokenness, had announced her withdrawal from politics because of health problems, including her loss of sight in January 2019.

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