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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.

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Togo: Communique du Conseil Des Ministres (26.01.2018)

Togo: Mouvement Nubueke – Comunique de Presse No 4 (23.01.2018)

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/

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)

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