Will the Constitution Prevail in Togo?

The Togolese army may yield to intense pressure from Togo’s neighbors,the BBC reports. If the rumors are true that elections will soon be held in Togo, it will be a very positive and hopeful sign for democracy and human rights in West Africa.

That is, provided the elections are free, and are monitored carefully by international observers. As Le Togolais (in French) points out, Faure Gnassingbe’s talk of “free, democratic and transparent elections” too much resembles his father’s rhetoric. Under Eyadema, it was code for “vote for me, or else!”

In the meantime, Faure and his generals proudly uphold the old man’s legacy of brutally suppressing any freedom of expression in the strees of Togo. Protesters have been shot and radio stations closed. Our thoughts are with our friends in Togo, and with the Togolese diaspora all over the world.

[update] IciLome has posted some gripping images of the protests in Lomé.

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