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Blog » Progress in Togo

28 Feb 2005

Progress in Togo

Filed under: Africa — paulcook @ 1:30 am

Good news in Togo, as reported by, for example, Reuters: the former president’s son, Gnassingbe, has bowed to West African and domestic pressure, and stepped down as president. He had already announced that elections will occur within sixty days, and these are now going to be organised by a different interim president.

However, the interim president replace Gnassingbe is NOT the original speaker of the National Assembly, Natchaba, but rather the deputy speaker, Bonfoh. As a result, protests are continuing on the streets. These include a women’s march, dressed in red, a pro-government march of women in white (Ukraine, anyone?), and continuing battles with police in opposition cities, featuring barricades of burning tires, tear gas, and at least one protester shot in the leg.

Of course, it is far from clear that the elections will be free and fair. But it is still a huge triumph that the coup has been partially overturned, thanks to concerted and swift action, both internally and from surrounding states. Truly, fantastic news for Africa’s new commitment to good government.



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