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Opinion: The International Community should help the Togolese people in their hour of need and quit the silence!

Well, this is again about President Faure Gnassingbé, the current President of Togo. He is currently planning a third term for his presidency. That has sparked a fire and fury into the opposition. Which also ignited the public. They are not accepting the family rule of Gnassingbe. The Gnassingbe family rule have lasted for 50 years. Clearly, the public has their rights to address this and they have done so since the August 2017. They are continuing weeks after weeks upon end. What is worse is the meager silence of the world. The bitter ignorance of the situation. Nearly, every single day there is someone who has been assaulted and killed by the Police. This dictatorship has to stopped, the people deserves better and their demonstrations should be respected.

There are so many, countless individuals who has stood up against the ruling party and their second generation totalitarian dictator Gnassingbe. This because the President tries to abolish term limits, so he can overstay and continue to rule without question. That is seen as unacceptable and righteously so. Gnassingbe who currently rule has been in power since 4th May 2005. So he had has his time in power and is time to step down.

Since the African Union, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations (UN) and all other international bodies has been silenced or just the mere smear documents. The different partners within Togo needs to have dialogue and needs to settle their differences. The bloodshed and the demonstration is creating instability and no-one earns on that. Well, the dialogue only earns the dictator and the indifference of situation only gains him. That is why the partners and the stakeholders should be aware.

What is worrying is not only the dying protesters. It is the utter silence, like it is denounced and the nothing of sorts from the for life President Gnassingbe. That he is not saying anything, while his citizens are suffering. The people are shot at, banned from demonstrating and if they do, they might be put on top of Police Pick-Ups and thrown on the back like cattle. This is fellow human beings, could be our brother and sister. This isn’t justice, this is the definition of INJUSTICE. The acts of belittling and hurting fellow human beings and using the powers of the state to silence them.

Togo needs recognition, Togo uprising need the support, and it deserves so. #TogoEnMarche and #TogoDebout. That people are lifted up on trucks by soldiers and anti-riot police, hit with batons and harassed. This is not acceptable. It is wrong and demeaning. That people are caught in police stations without charges and awaiting trial. For just standing up for the constitution and term limits is insane.

But that shows how bad the system and the state is, still the statements and acts of the international community is a joke. It is not sincere and deserves to be mocked. The citizens of Togo is under siege, their uprising is violently being disrupted and intimidated. Not like that matter, it is in the wrong zip-code, this nations main trading partners France and China doesn’t care. Benin and Burkina Faso has enough to deal with on their own. They don’t need to involved in the matters of Lome.

The Togolese doesn’t deserve this injustice, no people deserve this injustice. When we know that the civil disobedience and their demonstrations has been peaceful, they have been controlled and showed the power of the people, week after week. The Togolese deserve an intervention, because the state don’t care about their citizens. All the killed protesters, all the ones hospitalized and the ones who has loved ones behind bars. Should know that the international community stand behind their cause. Instead, utter demeaning silence.

It. Has. To. Stop. And. Now. This is not right, the Togolese deserves better. They deserve credit and recognition. They deserve people standing up for them and helping them in this hour of need. That time is now! Peace.

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Togo: PaxAfricana – Appel (20.10.2017)

Togo: Authorities even bans the #TogoDebout from having a Concert on the beach (Letter dated: 03.10.2017)

Opinion: It’s time to recognize the Togolese struggle to end their dictatorship!

Since millions have been protesting in #Togo the past 6 weeks, the president did not make a single speech to address the people” (Farida Nabourema, 05.10.2017).

Just as the Senegalese and ECOWAS troops entered into The Republic of Gambia earlier this year to bring down Yayha Jammeh. It is the same to happen in Togo, where the Faure Gnassingbe have been ruling for long, he has been running the Republic since 5th February 2005 and plans to rule longer after abolishing term limits. His father Eyadema Gnassingbe ruled for 37 years from 1967 to 2005. That is 50 years of dictatorship. Not just a hot minute, but a family ruling the republic as they self like.

It is understandable that the Togolese are addressing it, taking 16 hours rallies and demonstrations. Lasting all night, burning tires and showing the views on the hostile takeover of the Gnassingbe family. The family is now acting like they own Togo. What is important to know is the allies of the family, which is these: “A day after his father’s death, parliament received clear instructions to dismiss Natchaba and elect Gnassingbé in his place, which would legalize his succession; French law professor Charles Debbasch served as mastermind of the entire operation. Gnassingbé’s election was unanimously approved by the deputies who were present in parliament at the time, a parliament that was elected in an election boycotted by the opposition. The members of Gnassingbe’s party did not want to challenge the army’s choice. The parliament also eliminated a constitutional requirement that elections be held within 60 days of the president’s death, enabling the younger Gnassingbé to rule until the expiration of his father’s term in 2008. Under pressure from others in the region, and particularly Nigeria, later in February 2005 Gnassingbé announced that new elections would be held within 60 days, but said that he would remain in office in the meantime. However, on February 21, the Togolese National Assembly reversed some of the constitutional changes that it had made so as to allow Gnassingbé to assume power, although it did not instruct him to resign. This was construed as a way of pressuring him to stand down with dignity. To change the constitution during a period of transition was itself an unconstitutional act, but this did not deter Faure’s allies” (African Sucess, 2010).

On this view of the recent developments in Togo, it seems possible to argue that the succession issue, being within the internal affairs of the country, the insistence on the strict compliance with constitutional provisions – with particular regard to the impeachment of Fambare Quattara Natchaba and his replacement with Faure Gnassingbe – constituted an unjustified interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State and, therefore, a violation of international law. However, it might be asked whether the doctrine of state necessity can also be used to support the amendment of the Constitution to remove the 60 days prescribed for an acting President to conduct a presidential election and to enable Faure Gnassingbe to serve his father’s (President Eyadema’s) remaining term that was to end in three years time (2005–2008). Conceptually, the doctrine of state necessity, as indicated above, only supports situations of extreme emergency (as is the case with dealing with the need to avoid a vacuum in political leadership of the country at the highest level); it does not go beyond this (Ebeku,P:20, 2005)

So it’s the Togoese Army that have given power to the son of Eyadema, who has not left power ever since. That the extreme emergency and state necessity was the reason for his rise to power in his fathers stead. Clearly, like father like son. Father was 37 years and the son 13 years. The Gnassingbe power structure has been by force and intimidation, therefore the violence and killings during recent protest is just a manifestation of the dictatorship Togo is!

TogoEnMarche and TogoDebout proves the strength of the opposition and the will of the people. Six weeks of big demonstrations. Stopping business and showing huge part of the population participate in these demonstration. The public will to stop the dictatorship is there. African Civic Society and other Groups of Activist has thrown their support behind the banners and the opposition in their will for change. The Multi-National Organizations should do to like ECOWAS, African Union and others. Since they could sway the leadership, but their silence is acknowledging the leadership of Gnassingbe and that they will not see a new dawn.

This is sad, but expected, the African Union is like a dictatorship-club, where the oppressors teach each other techniques and rhetoric to sell to their populations. So they can oppress more when they come home to their republics and kingdoms. Where they can use the tricks of Addis Ababa or Khartoum, even Alger if they feel like it.

The continued demonstrations should be a warning, that the Togolese people don’t accept the Gnassingbe family rule. They are ready for someone who cares and who doesn’t use them. Don’t violate the human rights, detain and intimidate the opposition. It was all done in the state necessity and used the pressure for the succession, also former Nigerian Presidents push for a legitimate president. But it was the National Assembly who made the changes to allow the succession. Just like it was the National Assembly that have made it possible for Gnassingbe to get more terms in power. Even if that means 50 year rule of the family.

The reason why the Togolese has had the stamina of 6 weeks of steady demonstrations. This haven’t been a fluke, this is the opposition and citizens, also the civil society at its finest. The civil disobedience, the peaceful demonstrations proving their power. The President is nobody if he doesn’t have the people, the citizens and the territory, but only with the dominion he cannot rule alone. Therefore, the continues demonstrations at this magnitude are showing how weak the government is. There are even reports that the demonstrators are so many, that they can overpower the security forces. Who they even have served water too, while they are demonstrating. Clearly, the power of Gnassingbe are dwindling.

It is time for change, the Togolese people deserve our support and not only sympathy for their cause. For their will for freedom and liberty, out of the shackles of oppression. There is hope and their ability to must strength against the President. Shows their stamina and their acts of civil disobedience are Nobel, they are for the common good. Their peaceful acts against oppression. Shows the grace and clarity of anyone who wants a bloodless and peaceful transition. Even when the Police and Soldiers has killed demonstrators. The demonstrators still has just destroyed smaller infrastructure and things, but hasn’t been violent.

That is the proof of their good and their strength. The world and ones fighting for liberty and justice. Has to see their cause and support it. The Togolese deserve credit and support. Even if someone do what the ECOWAS did with Jammeh. That could be necessary in Togo, also get Kofi Annan or Thabo Mbeki to talk some sense into Gnassingbe, but that if they muster courage to do so.

The Togolese deserves better and they should continue, knowingly that their cause to freedom is still on course. If the world want help, than they have to take in into their own hands. They are plenty and the police cannot arrest them all, neither can every soldier kill them all. The citizens knows this and therefore are the government more careful now. Peace.

Reference:

African Success – ‘Biography of Faure GNASSINGBé’ (03.07.2010) link: http://www.africansuccess.org/visuFiche.php?lang=en&id=266

Ebeku, Kaniye S.A. – ‘THE SUCCESSION OF FAURE GNASSINGBE TO THE TOGOLESE PRESIDENCY – An International Law Perspective’ (2005) link: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:240415/FULLTEXT02.pdf

Declaration Commune des Mouvements Citoyens Africains sur la Situation Sociopolitique au Togo (13.09.2017)

Togo: CAP2015 – Groupe des 6 – PNP – Sante du Peuple – CAR – ‘Communique’ (08.09.2017)

#TogoEnMarche: The Togolese people wants the Gnassingbe family to-go!

The Togolese people have now been demonstrating in the streets, many fold who has still walked and demonstrated as the third generation Gnassingbe President are still ruling. This after the third term of Faure Gnassingbe, who are trying to continue to rule with changing rules of law. The Togolese opposition and people are reacting to this. Saddest part of this is death done by police brutality and army responding to the demonstrations. Surely, the people are ready since they don’t want the family of Gnassingbe to rule it anymore.

Pretext:

As photos of this violence spread, it brought back some familiar memories. It reminded some of the early-1990s, when a similar democracy movement gained momentum in Togo before it was brutally cut short by the regime of General Gnassingbe Eyadema. That repressive strongman died in 2005, but his son, Faure Gnassingbe, took over and has continued his father’s style of leadership. Over the years, this has led a new generation of Togolese to grow increasingly impatient, culminating in this weekend’s mobilisation to demand reforms once more” (…) “In the aftermath of these events, Gnassingbe signed a comprehensive political agreement and vowed to enact reforms to allow free and fair elections. Yet 12 years later, and with the president well into his third term having won elections again in 2010 and 2015, the Togolese people are still waiting for this change” (Narourema, 2017).

#TogoEnMarche:

Tensions have erupted in Togo after protests against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty over the weekend turned deadly. Two protesters were killed, and 12 gendarmes were wounded in Sokode, 338km north of the capital, Lome, when security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations, the security ministry said on Saturday. Tikpi Atchadam, Togo’s opposition leader and president of the PNP party, put the death toll at seven on Saturday night” (…) “There has been no official statement by the government regarding Saturday’s violent protest. Nabourema said: “People are still so motivated and so ready. They showed so much courage. People were pulling out bullets from their bodies. They were daring the regime and the military.” (Harding, 2017).

But who is Tikpi Salifou Atchadam, leader of the PNP? His detractors take him for a fiery, a dreamer who relies on his community Team. He is accused of having ethnically sounding language of hate. But to all this, the main interested responds: “When you have a language that your interlocutors understand, they trust you and follow you. “” (…) “With his sophisticated language, PNP’s methodical leader answers all questions from journalists, but he takes care to record his interviews himself. Prudence or lack of confidence? He ensures re-listen to these interviews to allow him to “do better” during the following. His declared ambition for Togo is “to stop the dynastic regime that has ruled the country for almost 50 years”. And the means to achieve this, “it is the people,” adds Tikpi Salifou Atchadam”

Yaa Asantewaa’:

It was reminiscent of the exploits and bravery of Ashanti warrior in 1900, Yaa Asantewaa, a native of Ejisu, Kumasi, last Saturday in Ghana’s neighboring country, Togo, when a 37-year-old woman single-handedly arrested a soldier in a demonstration at Sokode in the central part of the country. This happened when some Togolese soldiers opened fire at demonstrators who had taken to the street to protest the dynasty of Gnassingbe family in the country” (Ghanaweb, 2017).

The opposition will continue the fight this one, as the Gnassingbe family of 50 year rule are being demonstrated against. The people want free and fair elections in Togo. They deserve so and they are tired of being taken for granted by the leadership. That the peaceful demonstration in Togo have been met with police brutality, the police have attacked the civilians and killed several innocent.

So #TogoEnMarche or Togo on the move! It needs to move and people are willing to show they are force to be recon with. As they have now for days demonstrated against the Gbassingbe rule, also that they want the republic to return to the 1992 Constitution. Certainly, the Togolese will continue, even if the violence from the state continues. They seem tired of the family and the control from one junta. Peace.

Reference:

Harding, Leah – ‘Tensions in Togo as anti-Gnassingbe rally turns deadly’ (21.08.2017) link: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/tensions-togo-anti-gnassingbe-rally-turns-deadly-170821130327797.html

Ghanaweb – ‘‘Yaa Asantewaa’ appears in Togo; arrests soldier’ (23.08.2017) link: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Yaa-Asantewaa-appears-in-Togo-arrests-soldier-572486

Nabourema, Farida – ‘50 years of hurt: Togo protesters vow to continue’ (25.08.2017) link: http://africanarguments.org/2017/08/25/50-years-of-hurt-togo-protesters-vow-to-continue/

RFI – ‘Manifestations réprimées au Togo: qui est Tikpi Atchadam, le leader du PNP?’ (21.08.2017) link: http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170821-manifestations-reprimees-togo-est-tikpi-atchadam-le-leader-pnp

Opinion: EFFs Malema to Mugabe – “time to say Goodbye”!

The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) founder and former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) chairman Julius Malema is continuing to pound on the Presidency of Mugabe and his overstaying in power. It is from the same man that sought to learn from Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Youth in 2010 to learn how to make Africa better. So with the lingering years in power and his loss of power inside the ruling party ANC have given way for Malema to address Zanu-PF and ANC differently, than in the past; in the recent year or so he has called Mugabe a lot and asked him to leave power. Still, as a foreigner Mugabe has asked who he really is, therefore the criticism hasn’t really broken the old man, who by some of his biggest supporters claims that he is in the bible.

Let’s see what Julius Malema said about Mugabe:

“The African Union (AU) need courageous leadership which will tell their own peers this is not right, you know like they did, like ECOWAS did. So we need more ECOWAS, we need SADC to say no to President Mugabe don’t you think it’s time to say Goodbye” (…) “We have a problem with him (Mugabe) wanting to stay until death. We believe there are so many young people who were inspired by him in his own country. If he inspires us here in South Africa, there must surely a lot of them who were inspired him in Zimbabwe who can take over from him and continue the legacy” (ZimbabweToday, 2017).

Well, if South African government and other nations inside the SADC community weren’t afraid for their own reign and their internal battles, than they would have interfered in republics and states that had big-men who wouldn’t leave in peace. The man who was a freedom fighter and got rid of oppressive minority government has himself become a repressive leader. So that the RSA politician to tell the President of Zimbabwe is a fresh breath of air, still it would be more possible if the South African government wasn’t it biggest ally. Even Thabo Mbeki as President didn’t give a hard enough nudge and put the ZANU-PF rigging machine into the dust. Instead he gave way and made it possible for Mugabe to linger.

It is a fresh one that an opposition leader from South Africa blasts Mugabe; it makes sense of the character and the will of Malema. Still, his former friendliness towards the Zanu-PF makes me wonder how real the will of change the man has. Since when he was an ANCYL leader he could learn from Zanu-PF Youth, now he wants the Mugabe administration and Zanu-PF to leave, as much as Malema wants President Zuma and the ANC to stop ruling as well. However, he will not as SADC to overthrow Jacob Zuma, as he asks them to act upon Mugabe.

Well, nobody explain the problem with Mugabe better than Mutsa Murenje:

“There is absolutely no justification for Mugabe or any other Zimbabwean to seek medical attention outside the country. We have enough resources to make our health services work for us. The millions spent by a single man (Mugabe) on foreign trips could be saved to fund areas that are lacking in our country. The best we can do is to find Mugabe a place in an old people’s home. That’s where he belongs instead of depriving us of the future we badly need” (…) “The Mugabe regime abuses State resources and international aid. Food is distributed on a partisan basis. Opposition parties need to be more visible and have a felt presence nationwide. We need to stay abreast on key issues affecting us. The role of the media on this cannot be overstated. Both the traditional and the social media have key roles to play in consolidating democracy” (Murenje, 2017).

So the Zimbabwean sees the issues themselves, the Malema paradigm is different from Murenje, both want Mugabe gone away and other to lead, Malema from South Africa wants the SADC together to bring Mugabe away from the throne, while Murenje wants social justice and freedom through political takeover. That is different ways, as the MDC-T and other parties are now questioned, as the other parties are also created on fallouts from the Zanu-PF instead of built on their own merit.

There are dozens of questions and needed strong civil society together with political will to bring the Mugabe era to an end. However, there are more who wish him gone as the #ThisFlag and other social activists that are detained for their will to question the power of Mugabe. The President and his rule of law, is that the justice is only for the given elite, the rest should be silent.

The time should have been up a long time ago, Julius Malema and others should address the man and show the illegitimate rule in Zimbabwe. True, Mugabe was once a hero, but now he is not. Peace.

Reference:

Murenje, Mutsa – ‘Of crocodilian leaders, passive citizens’ (08.03.2017) link:

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/03/08/crocodilian-leaders-passive-citizens/

ZimbabweToday – ‘Malema Urges African Leaders to Gather Courage And Tell #Zimbabwe President Mugabe To Go’ (08.03.2017) link:  http://zimbabwe-today.com/malema-urges-african-leaders-gather-courage-tell-zimbabwe-president-mugabe-go/

Joint Declaration by the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations on the Political Situation of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia (23.01.2017)

jammeh-21-01-2017

ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commend the goodwill and statesmanship of His Excellency former President Jammeh, who with the greater interest of the Gambian people in mind, and in order to preserve the peace, stability and security of The Gambia and maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Gambian people, has decided to facilitate an immediate peaceful and orderly transition process.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 23, 2017 –

1.    Following the Decision of the Summit of the ECOWAS Authority taken on 17th December 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, Mediation efforts, including visits to Banjul, were undertaken by the Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, HE President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Mediator, HE  President Muhammadu Buhari and Co-Mediator on The Gambia, HE former President John Dramani Mahama, along with HE President Ernest Bai Koroma to mediate on the political impasse with Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh.

2.    Following further mediation efforts by HE President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and HE President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea Conakry with HE Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, the former President of the Republic of The Gambia, and in consultation with the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, the Chairperson of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, this declaration is made with the purpose of reaching a peaceful resolution to  the political situation in The Gambia.

3.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commend the goodwill and statesmanship of His Excellency former President Jammeh, who with the greater interest of the Gambian people in mind, and in order to preserve the peace, stability and security of The Gambia and maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Gambian people, has decided to facilitate an immediate peaceful and orderly transition process and transfer of power to President Adama Barrow in accordance with the Gambian constitution.

4.    In furtherance of this, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it assures and ensures the dignity, respect, security and rights of HE former President Jammeh, as a citizen, a party leader and a former Head of State as provided for and guaranteed by the 1997 Gambian Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia.

5.    Further, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it fully guarantees, assures and ensures the dignity, security, safety and rights of former President Jammeh’s immediate family, cabinet members, government officials, Security Officials and party supporters and loyalists.

6.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that no legislative measures are taken by it that would be inconsistent with the previous two paragraphs.

7.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN urge the Government of The Gambia to take all necessary measures to assure and ensure that there is no intimidation, harassment and/or witch-hunting of former regime members and supporters, in conformity with the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia.

8.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to prevent the seizure of assets and properties lawfully belonging to former President Jammeh or his family and those of his Cabinet members, government officials and Party supporters, as guaranteed under the Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia.

9.    In order to avoid any recriminations, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia on national reconciliation to cement social, cultural and national cohesion.

10.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN underscore strongly the important role of the Gambian Defence and Security Forces in the maintenance of peace and stability of The Gambia and commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it takes all appropriate measures to support the maintenance of the integrity of the [Defence and] Security Forces and guard against all measures that can create division and a breakdown of order.

11.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work to ensure that host countries that offer “African hospitality” to former President Jammeh and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.

12.    In order to assist a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power and the establishment of a new government, HE former President Jammeh will temporarily leave The Gambia on 21 January 2017, without any prejudice to his rights as a citizen, a former President and a Political Party Leader.

13.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that former President Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.

14.    Pursuant to this declaration, ECOWAS will halt any military operations in The Gambia and will continue to pursue peaceful and political resolution of the crisis.

Gambia: President Jammeh declares a state of emergency, as he refuses to step down (17.01.2017)

gambia-17-01-2017

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