Protests in Togo

For the past three months, citizens of Togo, a small country in West Africa have been on the street. During this entire period, they have made their demands known...

For the past three months, citizens of Togo, a small country in West Africa have been on the street. During this entire period, they have made their demands known in that they want the resignation of the current president Faure Gnassingbe. This is a president who hails from the family that has governed the country for the last 50 years. At the same time, the protestors want term limits to be imposed on the number of years that a single president can govern the nation. In these demonstrations, banners saying Faure must go are easily spotted. Other banners say that 50 years of dictatorship are enough. This is not happening on the streets alone, and it’s happening elsewhere across the entire nation. The protests have even intensified with the deployment of heavily armed forces in the streets. In some of the protests, things have turned ugly with live rounds being fired and protestors thoroughly beaten. For instance, 11 protesters died last month in two separate protests. At the same protests, 44 people were wounded and more than 60 people arrested. Security minister of Togo denied that no-one had been killed and only six people were arrested by the security forces.

However, in a protest two months ago, Amnesty International said that a nine-year-old boy was shot dead in Mango. This is a city that is located in Northern Togo. At the same protest, nearly 25 people were killed. The Gnassingbe family has ruled Togo since 1967. This happened when Eyedema Gnassingbe rose to power through a coup. He was the father of the current president. Gnassingbe Sr. died two years ago and was succeeded by his son after the elections. The results of this election were unsuccessfully contested. The last three elections in the country have been marked by fraud accusations. A Togolese activist and journalist known as Maxime Domegni says that he is 33-years-old and he has never experienced any other leadership except the Gnassingbe family. At the moment, the country that is located between Benin and Ghana is considered to be the poorest in the region. The country relies on subsistence farming with a population of 7.5 million people. 60 percent of this population are people under the age of 25. The current protests have drawn people from all sectors and age groups. The young are matching against the old while street hawkers are seen matching with the intellectuals.

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Faure GnassingbeTogo Protests

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