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To: "SVD webmaster SVD" <webmaster@svdcuria.org>
Date: 7 May 2005, 04:12:45 PM
Subject: Togo


TOGO 16/5/2005 20:41

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP: "ALMOST 800 VICTIMS IN THE CRISIS"

Peace/Justice, Standard

t least 791 people have been killed in Togo since the beginning of the political crisis that erupted after the death, last February 5, of president Gnassimbe Eyadema, who was in power for 38 years. The data is based on a report issued by the Togolese League for Human Rights (LTDH). "The list has been compiled according to information arriving from various sources, form direct witnesses, from familes giving us photos of the victims, from hospital sources and from other associations looking after human rights in the country," said to MISNA the president of the LTDH, Adote Ghandi Akwei. Akwei also noted that there are 4,500 cases of people disappearing and several cases of threats, "we do not have the expectation to specify the political belonging of these victims, we do not intend to give data that might be exploited. Our purpose is to denounce human right violations - noted Akwei - even if we have realized that the cases of violations at the expense of opposition supporters are numerically higher". "We have to say, however, that because of military secrets it has been difficult to obtain news concerning deaths among the military". Shortly after the departure due to illness of Gnassingbe Eyadema, military leaders substituted him right away with son Faure Gnassingbe; in what many have described as a coup. After strong pressure and political-economic sanctions isolating Lomé, Faure wa forced to resign but was chosen as the candidate for the government party at the elections held last April 24. According to results issued by the national electoral commission and confirmed by the constitutional court, Faure Gnassingbe was declared the winner and was installed in the last few days as president. The main political parties of the opposition have contested the vote saying it was false and full of irregularities which resulted on overthrowing what the opposition has defined as the "true results of the elections". Shortly after the publication of the results (Faure took over 60% of the votes) violent clashes broke out between th government forces and the opposition supporters. Apart from numerous dead and wounded, violence and social tension before and after the elections have led to the death of over 26,000 Togolese to seek refuge in nearby Benin and Ghana.

[CO]

Copyright © MISNA
Free reproduction citing source.
Send copy as justification to:
MISNA Editorial Office
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00198 Rome
misna@misna.org


TOGO 17/5/2005 12:56
RECONCILIATION ATTEMPTS, OPPOSITION AND GOVERNMENT TO MEET IN ABUJA
Politics/Economy, Standard

The main Togolese opposition parties and recently elected President Faure Gnassingbe will meet on Thursday in Abuja (Nigeria) in a move to resolve the serious political-social crisis tied to the recent presidential election. The news referred yesterday by MISNA sources in Togo was confirmed this morning by the top Nigerian This Day newspaper. The talks, to be mediated by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also in quality of acting chairman of the African Union, will be attended by representatives of the coalition of six opposition parties, whose candidate in the presidential vote (Bob Akitani) was defeated in the vote defined by the minority as a "farce", because marred with broils. Tomorrow's talks will be mainly centred on the possible formation of a government of national unity open also to the opposition, as proposed even before the vote by Faure Gnassingbe and so far rejected by the minority. Based on a toll issued in the past days by the Togolese Human Rights League (LTDH), at least 791 people were killed in Togo since the outbreak of the social-political crisis following the death on February 5 of the late president Gnassingbe Eyadema, in power for 38 years. Shortly after the passing of Eyadema, the national armed forces commanders rapidly replaced him with his son Faure Gnassingbe; a forced and unconstitutional nomination by many defined as a "coup" or "masquerade". Amid strong international pressures and political and economic sanctions, entirely isolating Lomé, Faure was forced to resign from office and was chosen as candidate of the government party to run in the April 24 presidential election. Based on the results issued by the National Electoral Commission and confirmed by the Constitutional Court, Faure Gnassingbe was proclaimed winner and sworn in as President. The main opposition parties strongly rejected the result of the vote, alleging that broils overturned the real outcome of the election. Shortly after the issuing of the results (Faure obtaining over 60% of votes) violent clashes broke out between security forces and opposition supporters. Aside from numerous dead and injured, the pre and post election violence caused over 26,000 Togolese to flee the nation and seek refuge in neighbouring Benin and Ghana.

[BO]

Copyright © MISNA
Free reproduction citing source.
Send copy as justification to:
MISNA Editorial Office
Via Levico 14
00198 Rome
misna@misna.org