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Archive for the tag “Economic Community of West African States”

Togo: President Gnassingbe bans demonstrations for 8 days nationwide because of the ECOWAS Summit!

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”Elie Wiesel

It is now new effort to stifle the voices of opposition against the second generation dictator of Togo. This time the Togolese government is silencing the people, because the President Faure Gnassingbe whose planning his third term and extend the family rule from 1967 until oblivion. The Second Generation Dictator Gnassingbe has held his reign since 2005. Therefore, he has already held power for over 13 years.

That is why he misuses the power, because he has inherited it and doesn’t respect the people, since never had too. This is the reason for the Togolese oppression. Gnassingbe is acting as an entitled brat, who uses power to silence and stop the public from addressing their concerns. That is why the police is arresting and detaining civilians as they protest the injustice of this rule.

That is why this is issued now:

The government of Togo has banned street demonstrations for the next eight days, during a period when a series of regional activities would be held in the country. The ban will be in effect from Monday, July 23, to August 1. Yark Damehane, Togo’s Minister of Security and Civil Protection, said demonstrations are prohibited “in order to reserve a warm welcome to the illustrious guests and to guarantee the serenity of the work”. Togo will host the first-ever joint summit of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) on July 30, 2018. This meeting will be followed by the ECOWAS Ordinary Summit the next day” (Newsbreak.ng, 2018).

We can hope that the Togolese demonstrations continues, especially when the ECOWAS is visiting, as the President is the Chairman of the ECOWAS for the moment. It would be humiliating and insulting to his pride, if there was a functioning sit-down strikes, making ghost-towns and also demonstrations in the street. If the police brutality and violence appear during the ECOWAS, this demonstrations will be put on stage world-wide, they will not just be a domestic issue.

That is what is needed, that the Togo Debout is acting up, even as the demonstrations are barred. The Togolese Army will certainly shut it down, just as the police would do too. But it will be humiliating and make the screams for liberation from the shackles of the Gnassingbe family, whose been ruling the Togolese Republic since 1967. That is the reason why the public is tired of being taken for granted.

It is a not a family business, but a republic. A republic that deserves governance and transparency, where the people are respected and ruled by representatives they are picking. Not just the loyalist and cronies of one family.

Faure Gnassingbe and the family doesn’t own, Togo, even if they act like it. Gnassingbe should understand that, but entitlement and arrogance is in the way. The Togolese deserves and has the right to demonstrate for a just society and rulers they picks. Not something you inherit, they should have the ability to elect the righteous leader. Peace.

Reference:

Newsbreak.ng – ‘Togo Bars Protests Ahead Of ECOWAS Summit’ 22.07.2018 link: https://www.newsbreak.ng/2018/07/togo-bars-protests-ahead-of-ecowas-summit/

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President Macky Sall is a bit to friendly to the Colonial French!

“With the French colonization, we had positive things” – President Macky Sall

The Senegalese President Macky Sall is out again, being super-friendly to the French. Even saying again that the Colonizer did lots of good to Senegal. The Republic and the people should be ashamed by the man. That he is so little sovereign and with pride over his own republic. If he was Paul Biya, I would understand, he should praise Switzerland and the mountain resorts he resides at. But I will not digress more. President Sall has again praised France. It is like you wonder how much money they are doling him and what sort of business-deals he has done with French Companies. Since he is a bit to friendly with them. Especially knowing the history of France in Senegal. You should figure out, that you can be cordial with them, but not so lovable.

First show some older clips, to show that this isn’t new from the President. So the ones that is shocked about recent statements as of this week. This is his M.O. and what he does. He has been like this before and said similar things, even if the French was imperialistic and still is, with their reach and demeaning control of the currency market in West Africa. Which the Republic of Senegal is under and their monetary policies are controlled by, therefore, I would expect more reluctant view of France, but Sall is different. He prefers and just see goodness from the French.

BWOG Staff reported in 2013:

President Sall painted his vision for African Economic growth, insisting that philosophers like Fukuyama and Hobbes paint a picture of man “as a wolf to other men.” He insisted that predatory economic practices be reined in and saw little merit in criticism of African debt by countries “that are in huge debt themselves!” “We cannot validate the voice of the future with tools from the past,” he went on, claiming that innovative investment, not empty charity, was the real path to growth. He claimed that 4/5ths of African countries were experiencing growth above the world average and insisted that a common currency for eight West African is the right move. The one positive aspect of colonialism is that it united those countries oppressed by the same power” (BWOG Staff – ‘LectureHop: Macky Sall, the President of Senegal’ 28.09.2013 link: http://bwog.com/2013/09/28/lecturehop-macky-sall-the-president-of-senegal/).

An interview with Sall in 2013:

What role should countries such as Senegal play in regional security compared with outside actors such as the United States and France? We cooperate with France, which is an ally and a friend. It is of course a former colonial power. But France understands the stakes in and the sociology of our countries. The United States also has a security policy in the region, and it is our partner through africom [the U.S. Africa Command] and everything that it does in terms of military cooperation with various countries” (…) “So can Africa take care of its own problems now? No. Africa cannot handle its own problems, because we are not yet at the point where we have the logistical capabilities to deploy troops in case of emergency. It’s simply a matter of means, not a matter of men” (Mercredi – ‘A Conversation With Macky Sall’ 28.08.2013 link: https://www.ndarinfo.com/A-Conversation-With-Macky-Sall_a6291.html)

Northern Senegal farmers:

Under French rule, the poor farmers of Northern Senegal were forced by oppressive economic policies to resort to the monoculture of peanuts and rice. The legacy of colonialism on traditional farming practices was the desertification of the delicate Sahel soil and a devastating famine in the late twentieth century (Kloby 103). In what was once a civilization of communal living and bartering, the French instituted elements of capitalism that would best serve the European metropole. Instead of nurturing a complete capitalist system and educating the local populous about the newly developed concepts of industrialization and economic theory, the Europeans exploited the rich resources of both land and people to further advance their own development (Rodney 112)” (Emma Anderson – ‘COLONIZATION AND SENEGAL’ 10.07.2013 link: https://www.globalcitizenyear.org/updates/colonization-and-senegal/) .

As you see, President Sall has a favorable view, maybe he is caught up in the view of French Embassy of Senegal in Dakar, which writes on their page about their relationship:

After more than three centuries of uninterrupted relations, France and Senegal have remained since the independence of very close nations. A shared history, a tradition of cooperation in all fields, a constant flow of human and material exchanges in both directions, confirm this proximity. The strong bond that President Léopold Sédar Senghor had with our country has been perpetuated by his successors, President Abdou Diouf, President Abdoulaye Wade, and President Macky Sall since April 2012. France intends to remain alongside Senegal, which is the largest recipient of French aid in sub-Saharan Africa. It is in all these areas, but also in that of our cultural and human exchanges, woven through three hundred and fifty years of history, that the exceptional relations of friendship between France and Senegal are manifested” (La France au Senegal – ‘Relations politiques’ 21.06.2017).

Therefore, you can see that the exceptional relationship is evident in the way Sall is defending the colonial works that French did in Senegal, as they didn’t do it to control and get their imperial control of Senegal. That should be insulting to Sall, but you can wonder why he see it so favorable. Because he shows such defense and defense of the assimilation and the policies done by French Colonial Administrations, which was done for the betterment of Paris and not for the betterment of Dakar. That was just dumb-luck if the policies created something good for Dakar, because the end-game in the colonial enterprises are for the betterment of the empire, not for the colonies. They are the means to an end.

That is why Sall is so French friendly and defending the demeaning and insulting policies of the Colonial French. Which the Senegal republic has inherited and is still under supervision of the French. As their monetary policies and other government framework are still monitored by the French and the French Treasury in Paris. Therefore, the Senegal Government have less control and have less powers of their own, as long as they are following guidelines from the French on how the Central African Franc (CAF) is.

The Senegalese are the ones that following similar steps as in France, but have politicians that are blindly also following the French. This is all in deliberate way of still having not only influence, but actual control of the territories they used reign supreme over. That is what the French is doing. Therefore, President Sall is a bit to friendly and defending the French. I just don’t get it. I don’t. But that is just me though. Peace.

Togo: Lettre – “Objet: V/L du 03 avril 2018” (06.04.2018)

Statement by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the Terrorist Attacks in Burkina Faso (02.03.2018)

Burkina Faso – Service d’information du gouvernement: Communique (02.03.2018)

Opinion: The Togolese Dialogue we’re bound to fail, because that’s what Gnassingbe wanted!

The Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo wasn’t going into a ready made process to generate an agreement between government under President Faure Gnassingbe, who has had no ideal or plan of any reconciliation with the opposition. Gnassingbe has worked against the opposition party and hold it silent and not addressed it for months. While the opposition rallies been going on for months, non-stop, even if the government continue to harass and detain activists.

So if you have had feeling that the negotiations and dialogue has only been to give legitimacy for Gnassingbe, than we are on accord. It is the sort of ploy to make the protesters and the demonstrations seemingly foolish. While what happens on the backdoor meetings could deliver some sort of paper, saying that the government will deliver a little change, but not step-down. The opposition are supposed to accept it, because it was a minor concession from Gnassingbe. Even if he didn’t step-down as the public wants, since the family dynasty of the Gnassingbe has to stop. That should be the nail in the coffin. So that means, the address of Gnassingbe, would be to make a succession within his party and not continue to rule.

Buzz du Togo reported this:

In the past, the government managed to never apply the agreements it had signed, Antoine Bawa points. The Ghanaian mediation is respected by both parties, but will it have the means to enforce the agreement? ” Remains the solution of the Togolese army as guarantor of the transition process. It does not participate at this stage in the dialogue. “He is a key player in Togo, but unfortunately discredited by his brutality and his unfailing loyalty to Gnassingbe,” said Comi Toulabor. Façade optimism displayed by both sides for opening dialogue threatens to flake off quickly” (BuzzduTogo, 2018).

Clearly, the opposition had no faith in the dialogue, since the government doesn’t hold their deals and agreement. Togolese has all rights to now faith in it, as long as they have demonstrated, the police and army has violated their rights to protest. People has been hurt, killed and detained for using their words. So, the trust in Gnassingbe isn’t there and they have the rights to question him. His agenda is to prolong his stay in power and not give way.

The Togolese state isn’t a family affair, even if Gnassingbe acts that way and thinks he can get away with it. That is why the dialogue will have no results and the activists will continue to prosper and get more people on the streets. Even if the authorities ban them, like they banned concerts at the beaches. They can ban it all and officially stop it. However, the voices of the people will only be heard in the streets. Because Gnassingbe will not step down easily.

That the dialogue had a mission to address the social-political questions of the protests. It is evident what the problem is and it is one man in general. In linage of people who thinks they have a right to rule the Republic. They are paying the army and paying the security officials to keep the people at bay, but not build institutions or state facilities to build a better republic. That is evident, that the one-family rule of Togo has to stop. The whole reason for the protest, for the people to be free of the shackles of Gnassingbe.

The mediator has to see, it is chronic problem of one man and his elite of the whole state, while the public are struggling with bare minimum. That is the reality and it is not just. The society will change with leaders not ruling their because of family ties, but because of expertise and legitimacy from the public. Neither is there now, just the elite and cronies. The Togolese deserve better. Peace.

Reference:

BuzzduTogo – ‘Togo: révélations du journal français Libération sur le dialogue en cours’ (23.02.2018) link: http://buzzdutogo.com/togo-revelations-du-journal-francais-liberation-sur-le-dialogue-en-cours/

Opinion: The international pressure should come from France, India and China – Concerning Gnassingbe and Togo!

The President stated “Togo is addressing an image problem inherited from the long years of crisis in this country. Our efforts to rid ourselves of the bad image of the past are yielding results, but we still have a long way to go. We should do more to attract foreign investors, to make them look at Togo with fresh eyes and to understand the extent of the positive changes that have happened in this country in recent years.” (Crown Agents – ‘ New Office of Togolese Revenue to Boost Economic Recovery’ March 2014).

Been wondering for a while, why no-one of the biggest players and the important nations has added pressure on Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe. This after months upon months of demonstrations and forcing the President out with peaceful means, as he is the second generation dictator and has run the Republic since 1967. They have acted like it was a family affair to control the Republic without any consideration to the public or civil society. That is why the #TogoDebout and #FaureMustGo has such a recognition within the public.

However, the reactions and the lack of celebrations of the demonstrations is evident. Since the International Community at large hasn’t really reacted. If this is because he got the Chairman role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in June 2017. Gnassingbe has clearly accepted and enjoyed the honor of taking charge after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. So this also buy him time and also recognition abroad.

Still, I don’t think that is the reason for no-one protesting his unreasonable since he is now in his third term and continuing the family project that he started himself in 2005 after his fathers death. That is the reason why the people are ready for his end. Still, the International Community doesn’t seem to care. Like who is the most important international nations who has interests in Togo and who can have a fallout for supporting Gnassingbe? That should be the worry, as the people of Togo should be prepared to boycott these nations and investors from these nations. Who is indefinitely keeping the Dictatorship alive with foreign exchange and budget stimulus.

The first and foremost ally is the French. France has both economic ties into Togo and also 20 investors directly in the Republic. They also the main supplier of Togo, which sells oil, cars, pharmaceuticals and cereals. The French is one of the main foreign direct investments, meaning keeping the status quo is important, because the French are profiting on the leadership as it is today. Togo is also part of the Currency Union the CFA Franc, who controls the Monetary Policies of the Republic. So it’s not like the Republic is totally free from the former colonizer, as they are still controlling the monetary situation and issuing of currency. Plus they are also vital with the foreign investments and main supplier of the Republic too. So if someone should question the dictatorship, it should be the French, but they don’t care unless they starting to lose money.

There are two other central parties in the modern-day Togo, who has not colonized the Republic in the past. India is an important partner in development projects, which they have been since 1994 after the father of the current day President. They have a cordial relationship, that is the status the Indian government puts on it. The relationship is clearly gaining the Indians who are exporting over double of what they are importing from Togo.

This here is proving the reality of the relations between them: “The Indian bank, Exim Bank, organizer of the meeting, has already a branch to Togo where it finances energy and agricultural projects. Recently, India provided a financing of $ 100 million through the Togolese branch. «For many years, our relations have been excellent, and we will still work for the development of our cooperation with Togo. We will continue to share our experiences with Togo in the areas of technology, health and education, » said Jeeva K. Sogar, an Indian diplomat. According to him, Togo and India must work together to implement all the current development projects, for the benefit of the populations, and for emerging Togo. The last financing agreement falls within this process” (Emmanuel Atcha – ‘Togo: About twenty SMEs at the India-Africa Summit’ 16.01.2017).

Then it’s the third nation who is involved in Togo is China, that is not surprised, but needs to show their role in Togo. They are already owning a big share through their business China Merchant Group (50%), who bought the 50% of the Terminal in 2012 and also developed it to a deep-water terminal in 2013. The first one in West-Africa. This is how the relationship was described in 2016:

Li Keqiang pointed out that China stands ready to draw on respective advantages with Togo to actively push forward practical cooperation in such fields as transportation infrastructure construction, port construction and operation and mining industry. Both sides should vigorously promote the building of high-speed railway network, highway network, regional aviation network as well as industrialization in Africa, so as to realize mutual benefit, win-win results and common development. Faure Gnassingbe noted that Togo-China friendship remains unshakable and becomes even firmer as time goes by. Major cooperation initiatives proposed by China, such as three networks and industrialization, are being implemented and have achieved tangible results. Togo is ready to seize historic opportunities from friendly cooperation between both countries and between Africa and China, give play to its location advantages, improve business environment, and strengthen cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, port logistics, mineral resources and poverty reduction between both countries, so as to boost common development of Africa and China” (Chinese Embassy in Norway – ‘Li Keqiang Meets with President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo’ 01.06.2016).

So the Chinese has started to take parts where the French has left off, as the French is directly with investments and imports. The Indian are doing similar, but also development projects. While the Chinese is directly owning enterprises and investments, while also focusing in development projects. All of these three are gaining from the relationship and the Republic’s are earning on the exports. This is contributions to their GDP and the budgets. As this is creating jobs both in Togo and in the respective Republic’s. Therefore, the Togolese should question the power they have to question these, as these three are vital from the outside.

Not that the trading between Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso doesn’t matter it does. But these here has influential power over Togo with their financial contribution and vital exports to them. As well the needs for their imports. Therefore, the French, Indian and Chinese should interfere for the common good for the Togolese. Especially, since the public will is there. The Opposition is ready and the public is tired of Gnassingbe and his elite. The people are ready for change and new type of government. Not the type that is there right now.

If there are supposed to be outside pressure, then it needs to come from these. This is the ones who has invested and has ties to Togo. They don’t want to lose their possible resources or businesses over choosing loyalty to Gnassingbe. These partners should also consider themselves and what sort of person they want to support. Even if they don’t believing in direct interfering in other states affairs. They are still doing that with the exports/imports and development projects.

So the steps now for the Togolese, is first to either boycott these imports and businesses as much as possible. Secondly to send petitions to them to inform about the ill-activity of the dictatorship. The last will most likely not make any changes, but the first will spark their curiosity. Peace.

ECOWAS: Portant Adoption des Sanctions Personelles visant a Favoriser la Restauration de la Gouvernance Democratique et le Respect de l’Etat de droit en Republique de Guinee Bissau (04.02.2018)

Joint Statement of the African Union and the United Nations on Guinea-Bissau (03.02.2018)

Togo: Communique du Conseil Des Ministres (26.01.2018)

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