Togo claims Germany relationship warming

German President Horst Köhler visited Ghana last week, and and attended a conference with several African leaders. Apparently he also met Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé, who “inherited” the family business of running Togo from his dad, the late Gnassingbé Eyadema. The official Togolese government news website claims that the meeting was cordial, and that Köhler promised Germany’s support for the democratization of Togo. After a decade of German and EU sanctions against the illegitimate regime of the Gnassingbé clan in Togo, the fact that this meeting took place alone, could be construed as a warming of relations, I suppose. But promises of “support for democratization” efforts could mean anything.

With legislative elections in Togo this year, the EU is probably interested in warming relations with the regime in Lomé so they can keep a closer eye on the elections. Also, the national unity government between the RPT and the UFC has raised hopes that there may be progress possible in Togo. With the old man gone, engagement may be the way to turn Togo around. However, only if the French government stops propping up the RPT and the Gnassingbé clan. Unless the French quit meddling in Togo, neither sanctions nor engagement will produce democracy in Togo.

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