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Name: Oguin, Cyrille
Current Position: Ambassador

A career diplomat, Cyrille S. Oguin has served as ambassador to the United States from the West African nation of Benin since March 2001.

Oguin is a graduate of the Algiers National School of Administration (Foreign Service) and the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies, where he obtained a M. Phil in law and
international relations.
He joined the diplomatic service in March 1978, and has held positions in the central administration of the Ministry of External Affairs and Cooperation, as well as in Benin’s embassies worldwide.
From 1979 to 1984, Oguin served as second secretary of the Benin embassy in Accra, Ghana. During this time he led the mission as chargé d’affaires, ad interim, from July 1981 to September 1982, with accreditation also to Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali.
He was appointed assistant to the chief of staff of the minister of external affairs and cooperation (1992-1995) and later as assistant to the minister of foreign affairs (1995-1996).
From 1998 to 2001, Oguin served as director of human rights at the Ministry of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights.
Since 2008, he has concurrently served as ambassador to Mexico and as permanent observer to the Organization of American States in Washington, DC.
Oguin has been active in Benin’s reconciliation with the black Diaspora, including with African-Americans. Benin, known before its 1960 independence as Dahomey, was a major port in the slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. In August 2002, Oguin held a press conference at the Benin embassy in Washington D.C. at which he issued an apology for the part that the people from his own country played in helping Europeans kidnap and enslave Africans. “No amount of money can fix anything that has already happened,” he said. “This apology is from the heart. And that is much more valuable than money because of the psychological impact. Once we have that confidence that we have spiritually addressed those concerns, then the relationship in business, trade and culture will follow and become larger, stronger and long-lasting.” He later told an audience at Southern University, “It’s so easy to say the white man did it to us, but we share in the responsibility,”
Oguin is fluent in French and English and can read and write Arabic. He is married and has two children.
Official Biography (Benin Embassy)
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