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AKUFO-ADDO INITIATES PEACE IN TOGO - 45 detainees released, demos suspended

World News

The Togolese Government and the Coalition of 14 Opposition political parties have agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.

The Togolese Government and the Coalition of 14 Opposition political parties have agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.


This was contained in a communiqué issued on Monday, February 19, at the end of the first dialogue meeting held between the parties. The meeting, which was facilitated by President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.
As part of measures aimed at “appeasement and confidence building”, President Akufo-Addo, as captured by the communiqué, conveyed a number of decisions taken by his Togolese counterpart, President Faure Gnassingbe, to that end.

This included the signing of a presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018, for the release of forty-five out of the ninety-two persons detained in the country’s prisons as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations.

“The case of the seven  persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February, 2018,” the Communiqué said.

The statement continued, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”

Additionally, “both Parties also agreed to a suspension of demonstrations, pending the outcome of the dialogue.”

An issue that was raised by the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties, on the return to the plenary, was the need for the state to hold on to planned local and parliamentary elections, and referendum until the dialogue had considered and taken decisions on the Electoral and Institutional Reforms contained in the Rules of Procedure.

The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.

Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.

It was agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Meanwhile, The Convention Peoples’ Party has  commended President Akufo-Addo for providing sub-regional leadership to mediate in the protracted social-political unrest in Togo.

Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle CPP Chairman and Leader told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the crisis in Togo was a ticking time bomb, “if ECOWAS and for that matter Ghana fail to intervene, it will explode to disrupt the relative political stability the sub-region is experiencing”.

Togo, in recent times, has witnessed a series of protests by opposition parties who are calling for a return to the country's constitution, which imposes limits on presidential terms.

Prof. Delle in August 2017, appealed to the International Community to pay attention to developments in Togo, stressing that, “It could have been worse and could get worse if the international community fails to immediately intervene”.

The CPP Chairman while, commending Ghana and President Akufo-Addo for the mediation efforts, renewed the call to ECOWAS, African Union and the International Community to assist Togo to resolve its impending political upheaval.

The CPP Leader suggested the creation of a platform for all Political Leaders, Civil Society Organisations, Media, Religious, and Traditional Leaders as well as democratic stakeholders in Togo to dialogue.

Prof. Delle noted that even though demonstrations formed part of a political weapon in a democratic process, “democratic forces must avoid unbridled protest and violent pronouncements which most often ignites hostilities leading to the loss of precious lives, destruction of property and general insecurity.

“We must reduce the tendency of using violent means to resolve political problems or the heavy arm of the State security to deal with political opponents and suppress divergent views in a democratic environment,” h said.

The CPP Chairman also appealed to President Gnassingbe and the leader of the main opposition Mr Tikpi Atchadam of the PNP party to work together for the interest of Togolese and strengthen Togolese democratic development.