Crisis in Togo

With regional powerhouse Nigeria in the lead, West African nations are increasing the pressure on Togo’s leadership, while an opposition rally in Lome is violently broken up by Togolese police.

OCHA IRIN and the BBC report that officials from ECOWAS and the African Union are denouncing the recent coup in Togo sharply. The tensions increased, when earlier today, Togolese officials diverted a plane carrying a delegation from Nigeria to Lome, and sent the delegation to the Eyadema stronghold Kara. instead, the plane turned around and landed in neighboring Benin.

Obasanjo’s official spokeswoman, Remi Oyo, told reporters:

As a result of this unfriendly and hostile action, President Obasanjo has advised the executive secretary of ECOWAS, Mr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, of his decision not to participate in the delegation of leaders who were supposed to visit Togo’s president.

The BBC also reports that protesters in Lome have been violently dispersed and a radio station was shut down by the government after broadcasting an interview with opposition leader Harry Olympio.

Seems to me that it is high time for Faure Eyadema to set a date for elections in the 60-day timeframe the original Togolese constitution provided, and to invite ECOWAS to assist with ensuring that such elections be free and fair.

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