TOGO : Day 2 ;One Million people in the streets to demonstrate against Faure Gnassingbé
A historic march of about one Million people demonstrated in ten cities in Togo yesterday from North to South, young and old including women following the call from the coalition of opposition and civil society groups claiming they will stay on the streets until Faure Gnassingbe leaves office .
Two Million Protesters
A gargantuan and multicolored crowd representing various political backgrounds and social status came from all over town of Lomé in Red, Orange and Yellow, holding placards with slogans with inscriptions like ‘’Faure must Go !!!’’ whistling and chanting along in chorus with Togo’s flag with an unprecedented zeal.
Their assembly point was‘’Carrefour Deckon’’ a popular Junction in Lomé and a strategic point where they all managed to converge despite attempts of security forces to disperse them in some cities of the capital with tear gas.
Le Mondeafrique reports that at least one hundred thousand people demonstrated on Wednesday according to the Director of Amnesty International Togo. Meanwhile, Reports coming in from Togoonline states that an opposition leader claims that there were over a million people in the Streets.
CLAIMS : We are not leaving the streets until Faure Leaves Ofiice
Opposition leaders like Jean-Pierre Fabre and Patrick Lawson from the main opposition party National Alliance for Change were seen sitting on the asphalt, they declared that they were going to camp on the streets until Faure Ganssingbe leaves power.
A picture on Youtube depicts people holding a pan and a coal pot to prepare fufu on the street
‘’ the Togolese people gathered here to make their voices heard. Enough of the provocations ! we want our 1992 constitution, we want the president to learn from it and leave office! He must stop his mandate’’says Madam Brigitte Adjamagbo, president of of the Coalition CAP 2015 during the time of this reportage.
Icilome also reports a statue of ‘’Juju’’ rallying in the middle of the streets of the people of the town in Lomé. ‘’Togo is going to be delivered in the next coming day’’ exclaimed the owner”.
An image of a deity in the middle of the street
Social media at war
The internet been shut down didnt deter the masses who massively took part in the rallies.In parallel, the diaspora abroad who have internet access is actively involved to thwart the internet censure in Togo on social media platforms. Actively relaying and sharing exclusive images, and video contents to the world on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube with hashtags #Fauremustgo #Togoviwofon-Togoyoursonsandaughtershavearise- and so on.
On her blog faridabembaoverblog.org Farida Nabourema, a togolese Human Rights Advocate Writer Anti-Dictators outlines in ten points how to contribute to the liberation of Togo.
among others, ‘’write to any journalist in the world(…..)international organisations and call for the immediate removal of Faure(…)contribute financially and share images and information about Togo in all forums and social media platforms (…) research about autodefence and resistance technics’’
Government has failed in a call for a dialogue
So far, Government’s call for a dialogue and a debate with the opposition has been futile. Wednesday, authorities convened members of parliament on an extraordinary session on September 12th, 2017 on the National Television (TVT). This measure comes after Government announced earlier this week its intention to draft a bill in order to reform the constitution. Something the oppositions sees as an attempt to lure the margin.
Togoactualite.comreports that the yesterday’s opposition sit-in has been dispersed by security forces with shooting teargas and bullet around 10 : 30 PM GMT. This is happening when a diplomatic official of the Ghanaian community Dr Ibn Chambas is in Togo as a mediator that people are severely criticizing on Twitter.
‘’@UN_UNOWAS take your corrupt Ibn Chambas out of Togo. We haven,t forgotten 2005.’’Says Jermy NK Gbantcharé on Twitter. Farida Nabourema @Farida_N to add‘’#Chambas said on a local radio in #Ghana on Monday that nothing is happening in #Togo and only a small group of agitators are causing trouble.’’
Reasons for the demonstration
In an interview with Letogoalais.com, Jean-Pierre Fabre explained the main causes of the crisis ‘’ ….the country is prompted to a profound crisis since several decades. Since 1963, it has been more than fifty years that Togo has been under a military dictate at the same time brutal, bloody and sly.’’ Adding that ‘’despite all our efforts nothing has changed, despite a multiparty which has finally been revealed apparent (…..) it is a widely shared feeling within our populations, Faure and his court use every subterfuges to remain in power’’ Conclude Mr Fabre.
In a nutshell, togolese claim the return of the 1992 original constitution-limitatation of presidential mandate to Five years with two- term limit-Beside, they protested for the right to vote for the Togolese Diaspora, the electoral reforms in the country.–Liberté Finally, they have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested members of opposition during the last rally. Even thought the opposition and populations want the immediate departure of Faure Gnassingbe most of all.-Garda
Tikpi Atchadam, leader of the Pan-African National Party further notes that it is the first time Togolese masses are involved in such a massive demonstration. –Liberté
Even though the demonstration has not reported any serious casualty so far,the opposition doesnt exclude the possibility of a clash between the security agents and protesters says an official of the opposition.
Some of the opposition leaders : Mr J.P Fabre
Governmentwithdraws a journalistaccreditation
Governement cancelled Emmanuella Sodji’s accreditation while she was reporting on the opposition’s demonstration for TV5 Monde and France 2 on Wednesday. They later prohibited her from covering oppositions demonstrations. Yet, authorities have not pronounced yet commented on the matter and the question arising now is” What is the Ibn Chambas delegation supposed to mediate the crisis really doing in Togo”?
After his father Gnassingbe Eyadema kicked the bucket in 2005, Army installed Faure essozimna as successor after an’’improvised’’ modification of the constitution. Because of the Military Push which violates Togo’s 1992 Constitution, Gnassingbe stepped down and agreed to a Democratic election in April. He accumulated more than 50 years with his father ruling with an iron fist a country of seven million people where the majority of the population live in poverty.
Sources: icilome + Lemonde +togo-online + letogolais + overblog
Compiled and translated by Komy Lauris H.