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Togolese Government Bans Opposition Demonstrations in Three Cities Over ‘Security Concerns’

Picture: IRIN

Journalists, rights activists, opposition leaders march in Lome (file Picture).

In a continuing express of pressure in opposition to opposition demonstrators and voters, authorities in Togo have announced a ban on political rallies in three cities In The north of the country – Sokodé, Bafilo and Mango.

Within The announcement on January 8, 2018, authorities said the ban used to be necessary to stop demonstrators from the use of weapons allegedly seized from Safety forces right through earlier demonstrations.

“The precarious Security scenario in Sokodé, Bafilo and Mango pertains to the circulation of weapons stolen from the police station of town of Sokode and seized from the arms of soldiers who had been molested by the demonstrators on 19 August 2017. It due to this fact behooves on us to prohibit demonstrations in these localities,” stated Payadowa Boukpessi, Minister of the interior in a letter addressed to the leaders of the opposition coalition.

Togo has been mired in an unprecedented political situation on account that August 2017 when a coalition of opposition events started out a collection of mass demonstrations to demand political reforms. Among The Many opposition calls for are the reintroduction of presidential time period limits, the correct to vote for Togolese residing out of the country and an end to the Gnassingbé dynasty which has dominated the u . s . for greater than Five decades.

The First demonstrations have been violently suppressed through Security forces, especially Within The northern opposition bastion of Sokodé the place two folks were killed in August 2017. Five other demonstrations which adopted had been additionally quelled with physical attacks, some of them deadly in addition to arrests and detentions.

In The Meantime on January 7, armed soldiers and militia bodily assaulted individuals of the Pan-African Nationwide Celebration (PNP) who had been in a meeting In The city of Kara, thought to be to be the stronghold of the ruling Party Union pour la republique (Unir).

In Keeping With Ricardo Agouzou, a member of the PNP who was present on the assembly when the incident came about, the armed soldiers numbering about Sixteen surrounded them and beat them. “They surrounded us and their intention was to finish our lives. In Truth, they maltreated us and seriously battered us,” he mentioned.

The MFWA condemns the continued and sustained crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly in Togo. We urge the Togolese Executive to research circumstances of violent demonstrations and attacks on opposition figures by Security dealers and make sure that the perpetrators are dropped at e book. We additionally enchantment to the government to initiate talk with the opposition and civil society relatively than searching for to make use of the coercive power of the state to frustrate the legit enjoyment of expression and assembly rights of the Togolese individuals.

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