Government forces accused of 'savage repression' in Togo

2017-11-09 06:00
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lome - Togo's opposition on Wednesday accused the security forces of "savage repression" after nearly 20 of its supporters were injured as they tried to protest against the ruling party.

The opposition held the first of three planned demonstrations this week on Tuesday, calling for constitutional reform and the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe.

But it said its supporters were prevented from taking to the streets in the northern cities of Sokode and Bafilo, despite government permission.

Heavily armed soldiers with their heads and faces covered positioned themselves at the starting points of the protests, breaking up crowds with sticks and tear gas.

In Sokode - the stronghold of opposition leader Tikpi Atchadam - the opposition said 16 people were injured by gunshots and beatings and three in Bafilo, where one disabled person was beaten up.

Amnesty International said it counted "at least 10 injured" in hospital in Sokode on Tuesday afternoon, including one with gunshot wounds in intensive care.

"There are others in houses," making an exact number difficult to ascertain, the organisation's country director Aime Adi told AFP by telephone.

"The coalition condemns in the strongest terms this savage repression and the doublespeak of the regime," the opposition said in a statement.

On Monday, the government had indicated it was open to talks with the opposition and announced the release of 42 people arrested during previous demonstrations.

Since the first protests began in late August, at least 16 people have died and more than 200 others have been injured as hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the country.

Demonstrators were again out in force on Wednesday and are expected again on Thursday.

In a joint statement, the European Union, United Nations and the French, US and German embassies said they welcomed the government's measures to calm the situation.

It appealed for protests to take place peacefully.

The opposition wants Gnassingbe to step down and the introduction of a two-term limit for presidents, applied retroactively to prevent Gnassingbe standing for re-election.

Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 and won three elections. His father General Gnassingbe Eyadema was president before him and ruled for 38 years.

Read more on:    un  |  amnesty international  |  eu  |  faure gnassingbe  |  togo  |  west africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.