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Opinion: Suddenly Gnassingbe speaks of dialogue? That ship has sailed a long time ago!

The Togolese people have been marching and demonstrating against the Family Dynasty of the Gnassingbe, the son of the previous one, Faure Gnassingbe. Who plans to revise the Constitution so he can run for a third term and continue the 50 year rule of his family in Togo.

The Togolese people have no been demonstrating for months. They have continued with persistence for months. While that has happen, the government has banned demonstrations, even concerts on beaches. They have killed demonstrators and detained civilians for their actions. All these have suffered, but they do it to save their nation from being controlled by one family and one party.

Therefore, that Faure Gnassingbe, who has been so silent for months. Suddenly yesterday released twitter messages, that is translated to this: “I invite all political actors of all persuasions to a national leap that will allow the various components of our country to meet around a table. May the appeasement measures and climate of restraint created by the Government constitute a solid foundation for sincere and fruitful discussions. One of our greatest qualities, on the land of our ancestors #Denyigban, remains the dialogue. I invite you to a #DialogueAuTogo” (Faure Gnassingbe, 08.12.2017).

As well as the Togo Tribune says this today: “For some hours now, opinion has been that Faure Gnassingbe is making efforts towards the truth. When the Head of State believes in a tweet that One of our greatest qualities, on the land of our ancestors #Denyigban, remains the dialogue, it seems that he would not have actually lied even if his analysis seems incomplete. About 27 dialogues have been recorded since the Sovereign National Conference. These dialogues resulted in conclusions and recommendations that have never been implemented. This is not a free statement, just revisit the history. Even the social contract, the constitution of 1992, the text groomed to the size of Faure Gnassingbe’s governance since 2002 suffers from negligence at the highest state summit” (A. Lemou, 2017).

So it seems like Gnassingbe plans a 28 dialogue to make a statement and a document. That he will not follow or make happen. Because that most likely means that he would end his presidency. End the family rule. That is why he has been silent while the people has been in the streets and showed their tiredness of his rule.

A few days earlier, this was speculated: “If President Faure Gnassingbe seems to have taken the right measure of these demonstrations that gather every time thousands of Togolese in the street, it is not certain that he found the right formula to bring down the mercury. Despite the constitutional reforms of the Togolese head of state, which also limit the presidential term to two, the temperature is only climbing. Because it became the problem, to believe the opponents who do not want to negotiate anything other than the departure of the son of the late General Eyadéma Gnassingbé. What to do to return to Togo the peace invoked by everyone but not found? Diplomatic discussions, official or under the table, triggered by different firemen and whose flowers are far from blooming for lack of water to water the seeds, could even have a sad end, even before bringing the protagonists around the table. And for good reason, the opponents blame new abuses committed by the defense and security forces on the demonstrators, following the march of Saturday, December 2 which would have mobilized hundreds of people. It is to be believed that before approaching this famous dialogue, each side would like to be in a position of strength. The opposition in particular knowing the power more or less shaken and cornered raises the stakes” (Seka, 2017).

Therefore, when this sort of sentiment comes up. You know there is dire need for change, because the government is cornering the people and the opposition against it. It is creating wounds and hurt on its own. That is why the stakes are so high, while the demonstrations have been prolonged. As well as the willingly silence of the President.

But with the knowledge of the oppression of the government. It is hard to believe that Gnassingbe is ready for dialogue. Because he knows that the people are tired of him and his rule. They are ready for someone who actually represents them and not the interest of the ruling family regime that he inherited. Togolese Republic is not an institutionalized monarchy, even if the Togolese President acts like its so.

If the President had cared about his people, the ones he represent, he wouldn’t have killed protesters and detained them with arbitrary charges. He wouldn’t have banned the freedom of expression and ban public gatherings during the recent months. So, his actions for months have not showed any progression or any significant will to change. More of the same and him controlling the state machinery whose been oppressing the people.

With that in mind, I have a hard time believing that a man who can silently oppress his people for months. Have any will or tend to care about the fate of his own people. If he had cared, he had acted a long time ago and he wouldn’t dare trying to fix the laws so he could run for a third term. When the people are ready for someone else, than a Gnassingbe.

Maybe if he hadn’t ordered the killings and detaining of his own citizens. While actually letting them protest in peace and understood the problem of his continued rule. Then people might have believed the courtesy call from him now. There been enough suffering for him to just skate by the acts of his government. The government that is supposed to represent the ones they have oppressed.

Gnassingbe, better be calling on the French or someone else to foot his bills. Because the people are tired of him eating their state reserves. They demonstrations for months and their will to this. Has been manifested. The international community should support this uprising and give it legitimacy to overthrow this illegitimate government run by Gnassingbe. Peace.

Reference:

A. Lemou – ‘Faure Gnassingbé : ‘L’une de nos plus grandes qualités,…le dialogue’ (09.12.2017) link: https://togotribune.com/news/faure-gnassingb-lune-de-nos-plus-grandes-qualits-le-dialogue-2/

Seka, Par Wakat – ‘Togo: introuvable dialogue?’ (05.12.2017) link: https://www.wakatsera.com/togo-introuvable-dialogue/

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Opinion: President Akufo-Addo message on development is what the world needs!

Yesterday, the Ghanian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the Press together with the French President Macron. As he did this he asked serious questions about governance and development. Akufo-Addo proved with brilliance what many people are saying about the African continent, but isn’t heard from the people in power. Akufo Addo actually wants like all other sovereign states to be charging his own people for the services they are getting and not handouts from strangers abroad. That isn’t noble, that is Statesmanship and responsibility. As he don’t want aid, but trade. The President wants Ghana to make it on its own and with its own resources, instead of billing the tab from afar.

All nations and all presidents should seek this paradigm. His own words are powerful and it is needed, in times when states are either addicted to aid or borrowing funds at levels that are destroying the economies. These words and shift should be taken by all states who are used to aid. So they can prepare their citizens and their institutions to be built. So that governance and the government can deliver services to their public.

Addressing a press conference with France President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s one-day working visit to Ghana on Thursday, President Akufo- Addo said African countries cannot continue to make policies based on the support the Western world can give. He said, “Our responsibility to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves. It is not right for a country like Ghana, 60-years after independence to still have its health and education budget being financed on the basis of the generosity and charity of European taxpayers” (…) “We need to have a mindset that says we can do it… and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” he said. Akufo-Addo said the only way Africa can stop its young men and women from migrating to other countries to seek greener pastures is to put in place systems that work. “We want to have those energies working inside our countries and we are going to have those energies if we begin to build systems that tells the young people of our country that their hopes, the opportunities are right here with us,” he stressed” (…) “Our concern should be with what we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cup-in-hand and begging for aid, for charity and for handouts,” he said” (Ghanaweb, 2017).

I’m European, I don’t care what Macron said or wanted to say after hearing Akufo-Addo speech. It was powerful and needed. The words that is expressed and the needed shift is there. Not that charity or aid should automatically stop. But the world, the leaders and the states themselves. Needs to find their way to sustain and develop mechanism for collecting revenue and also tax properly services. Secondly, needs proper guidelines and institutions to sufficiently create growth and stagger inflation. Combined with investment in not only extraction and producing crops, but also create products with it. So that the state don’t only get the low value export, but get refined and developed products on the world market. That isn’t an easy fix and has been tampered-on ever since independence and the world order hasn’t made it better too.

Initially, the power lays in the hands of the leadership. In the hands of people Akufo-Addo and others. Who can leave behind institutions and markets, that can leave behind educated and industries that brings wealth not only to a chosen few, but to the GDP of their respective nations. While stopping the current fix and re-up of more aid donations and charity from European taxpayers.

I hope that the African leadership are listening to this and actually follows this. To be truly independent. Be developed and generate the wealth the African people deserve and the stability of institutions it also should create to prosper. Maybe, not leadership as western-democracies, but in states and elected leadership that takes responsibility and uses the skills and resources for the benefit of all citizens. Not only for corporate citizens, but all of them. Building states and building democracies where the people and state are working for a common-goal. The betterment and changing today for the future. Not awaiting handouts from Berlin, Paris or London. The Ghanaian republic deserve this, they deserve to handle on their own, all former colonies and former protectorate deserves this. Just like the European republics and kingdoms are responsible for their own finances and economy. They are not awaiting funds from China or US to save them…

The same we should wish to say about African state, who are begging for donors and loans to fill the void of own taxation and revenue. Therefore, the speech from President Akufo-Addo deserves credit, not because he is African and wants to get rid of the hands-out. But because he speaking the truth in general. Every single statesman on planet earth, should work for this goal, no matter which continent and whatever country they are running. It doesn’t matter, all citizens and states should work for this common goal that President Akufo-Addo speaks off. Also, European Nations that are struggling with debt and with deficit like Greece and Italy, should also work for this goal and not be saved by other institutions. This is a world-wide issue, not only on the African continent. Peace.

Reference:

Ghanaweb – ‘Africa must stop depending on foreign aid – Akufo-Addo’ (03.12.2017) link: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Africa-must-stop-depending-on-foreign-aid-Akufo-Addo-606111

Togo: “Manifestation de la coalition de l’opposition ce 18 novembre 2017 :Un avant-goût” (Youtube-Clip)

Clip 2:

Togo: Communique de Presse du Mouvement NUBUEKE TOGO (02.11.2017)

My Letter to President Faure Gnassingbe: “on your continued silence!”

Dear Sir,

You Excellency of the Republic of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe!

You have been able to be President of this beautiful republic since 5th February 2005 after your fathers death, who had run the republic since 14th April 1967. With this year coming to an end, your family fortune and legacy has been in the will of having the office of President for 5 decades, 50 years. You have already served two term. And you are planning to alter the Constitution so you can have an official third term in office. You are planning to stay as long as your father.

That is the reason why I write to you. Not because I have any rights, any ownership or control. I am just a citizen of the world and would a guy that you had hired to clerical work or even wash one of your mansions in Lome. To you Mr. President, I am a nobody and righteously so.

That is why this is urgent. The Togolais, the Togolese people, the demonstrations, the detained citizens, the families of the fallen citizens at these demonstrations and those who has fled the republic. Are all on your watch. It is all because of you and your decision to stay in power. They wouldn’t be in the streets for #TogoDebout if you we’re not in power. There wouldn’t be #FaureMustGo and other posters carried in the streets and until the late hours. They are doing this, because your family the Gnassingbe has ruled this republic and not let it go.

It would be right thing, to listen and give your reason. You are trying to acts as Paul Biya of Cameroon, just relaxing in Europe, while your republic is burning. The yearning for liberation and freedom. Liberty and Democratic Principals. You are willing to risk it all, just for selfish reasons. It will be all about you, nothing else will matter.

I hope that you as a President, the Executive and all the above, believes you are more worth and has better understanding of all Togolese, more than the 7,600,000 million that are living there. That your mind is better fit and has a natural right to rule over these masses of people. In the country of “Work, Liberty and Homeland”. You should work for justice and freedom for all, so that they enjoy the liberties of being citizens there and always know you can trust their government.

It is time to work and not be silent, because the people deserve liberty in their homeland. It is time for President Gnassingbe to work, maybe even an ordinary job and have a paycheck at a foreign NGO. Since you are not in touch or listening to the people screaming for liberty in the streets.

They deserve that you listen and acts, that you talks and acts accordingly. The Togolaise deserve this, the millions of citizens deserves liberty in their homeland. Not just for you and your family. They deserve justice and rule of law. This isn’t right.

Let me clear, even if I am nobody, an unknown and just a mere stranger. You do not own Togo, Mr. President, His Excellency Faure Gnassingbe! You owe your place and position because of the goodwill of the Togolaise, the Togolese, you represent them, they don’t own you anything. It is time for you see and understand that. They are not obligated to do anything for you and make sure you live lavish. That is up to them.

It is time you humble yourself and become one of us common-folk, become a citizen and become some who is not representing anyone. Except that you represent the legacy of your family and your clan. But you will not represent the Republic of Togo. That has ended. Especially when you cannot address the misgivings, the oppression and the tormented public who continue to demonstrate until you fall.

It is time that you speak out and take charge, that you show some courage and bravery and steps down. That you give way and opens up for a new government with a President. That is not in your family and within your control. That should be reasonable, your family has ruled for 50 years, which is more than enough.

Your silence is just a breathe of indifference and a sign of weakness. That you don’t have character to stand up for oppression and you ill-willed actions against the ones you represent. That you cannot have the stomach or the heart to explain your grievances and your misgivings. That you cannot stand up for your orders of police brutality and state organized violence. That you are silently on stand-by, your just a person living with no concern and do not care.

That is you Mr. President, is that really you?

Best Regards

Write of Minbane

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.

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)

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