Hunger strike puts Togo opposition leader in hospital

A Togolese opposition leader who has been on hunger strike for two weeks has been taken to hospital, his associates said on Wednesday.

Nicodeme Ayao Habia, who has refused food since September 19, has been demanding the release of protesters who were detained after demonstrating against the ruling government.

He was admitted to a clinic in the capital, Lome, after his condition worsened, his communication advisor Achille Mensah told AFP.

"Habia should be cared for in Accra (Ghana's capital) but the ambulance that took him wasn't able to cross the border," he said.

"Togolese immigration officers said they were not aware of his evacuation, even though we had the necessary clearance," Mensah added, saying that arrangements were still being made to take Habia out of the country for medical treatment.

Habia has been staging his hunger strike outside Ghana's embassy in Lome. Accra has also been acting as mediator in a long-running dispute between the Togolese government and opposition figures over constitutional reform.

Last week, a Ghanaian military plane landed in Lome to transport Habia but it was not allowed to leave the airport due to a lack of detail about its mission, according to Togo's security minister General Yark Damehane.

"Togo is not a colony of Ghana," said Damehane, adding that Ghana could not send a plane without letting the Togolese authorities know first.

Referring to Habia's hunger strike, Damehane said: "It's theatre. You want us to play along?"

Habia has called for the release from prison of some 40 opposition activists who were arrested during protests demanding the resignation of Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe.

Meanwhile, an umbrella organisation for many civil society groups in the tiny West African country announced a new anti-government march for Friday, October 5.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
22% - 2007 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 2715 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
48% - 4366 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.27
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
21.07
+1.0%
Rand - Euro
18.16
+0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.62
+0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.9%
Gold
1,778.14
+0.5%
Silver
22.43
+0.8%
Palladium
1,870.50
-0.4%
Platinum
1,002.50
+0.2%
Brent Crude
82.68
-3.5%
Top 40
68,505
-0.1%
All Share
74,605
-0.1%
Resource 10
74,126
-0.9%
Industrial 25
91,450
-0.1%
Financial 15
15,759
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE