Wednesday 17 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Thousands of people took to the streets in Togo on Saturday in the first anti-government protests of the year, as supporters of President Faure Gnassingbe staged counter-demonstrations. A coalition of 14 political parties has staged almost weekly demonstrations since August last year, calling for Gnassingbe to step down and the introduction of a two-term limit for presidents. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 when he took over from his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who himself ruled Togo for 38 years. There was a strong police presence in Lome on Saturday, according to an AFP reporter at the scene. But unlike previous demonstrations, where opposition supporters clashed with the security services, it passed off without...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Opposition parties in Togo this weekend hold their first anti-government protest of the year, with progress on constitutional reform in an apparent stalemate after months of action. Thousands of supporters from a coalition of 14 parties are expected to turn out on Saturday, to renew calls for President Faure Gnassingbe to step down. A second protest exclusively for women has been organised for January 20. The parties want a change to the constitution to restrict presidents to a maximum of two, five-year terms of office, plus the introduction of a two-round voting system. Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005 and took over from his father who ruled the country for 38 years, has proposed the amendment. But it...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe broke his silence after months of protests against his rule, calling on the opposition to "dialogue" in his New Year address given late Wednesday. "Dialogue must remain the preferred way of resolving disagreements between political actors," Gnassingbe said in an address on national television, reiterating his controversial plans to revise the constitution. It was the first time Gnassingbe has spoken directly to the public since the crisis began in September. "I have no doubt that even...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged the streets of the Togolese capital on Saturday, the latest in a series of mass protests against the rule of President Faure Gnassingbe. Anti-government marches have been held across the country nearly every week since August, attracting hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the exit of Gnassingbe, who has ruled for more than 15 years. "We will never tire. This time we are going to see this fight, which started several months ago, through to the end," said a motorcycle taxi driver who joined the marches in Lome on Saturday.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
Protesters again took to the streets of Togo's capital Lome on Saturday to demonstrate against the rule of President Faure Gnassingbe, who was in Nigeria chairing a summit of West African leaders. Anti-government marches have been held across the country nearly every week since August, attracting hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the exit of Gnassingbe, who has ruled for more than 15 years. Gnassingbe was in Abuja chairing a summit for the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as he currently holds the regional bloc's rotating presidency. The bloc issued a statement expressing "its concern at the persistent political tension in the Togolese republic".
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
Togo's opposition on Thursday called on regional leaders to pressure the country's government to accept the reality of political change, as its supporters again protested against President Faure Gnassingbe. A coalition of 14 parties, which has led almost weekly demonstrations since August, appealed to heads of state and government attending Saturday's ECOWAS summit in Abuja to put pressure on the regime. Gnassingbe, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the Economic Community of West African States, has led Togo since 2005 after the death of his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema. The general himself was in charge for 38 years.
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Togo's main opposition coalition, which has led protests against President Faure Gnassingbe for more than three months, on Tuesday boycotted government consultations for talks on ending the political impasse. The international community has called for talks between the two sides to end the stalemate over constitutional reform to introduce a maximum two-term limit for presidents. But only five out of the 14 parties comprising the main opposition bloc were invited to preliminary discussions, scheduled to take place behind closed doors at the presidency in the capital, Lome. Opposition coalition spokeswoman Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson said the alliance refused to attend the meeting in the face of the government's...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group...
(AFP (eng) 12/02/17)
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Lome on Saturday for the third time this week to demand the exit of President Faure Gnassingbe, with little sign of progress on promised talks. Gnassingbe, who has ruled Togo for more than 15 years, pledged in November that his government would hold talks with opposition groups "within several weeks", but has kept silent since then. Regional mediators including Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo and Guinea's President Alpha Conde have been working to open up negotiations between the two sides.
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Togo's opposition on Wednesday vowed to maintain the momentum of anti-government protests, as thousands again took to the streets before promised talks with the president. The leader of the National Alliance for Change (ANC) party, Jean-Pierre Fabre, led the crowds in the capital but similar protests were banned on security grounds in the north. "Mobilisation will continue, even during talks. We are not going to give up the fight," Fabre told AFP. A source in Togo's second city of Sokode...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe was on Tuesday urged not to seek re-election in 2020 to guarantee his place in history as the man who ushered in peaceful political change. Gnassingbe, who has been in power since the death of his father in 2005, has been the target of a wave of protests since late August calling on him to quit. Three more opposition marches are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Opposition stalwart Gilchrist Olympio said Gnassingbe and his government should accept a return to the 1992 constitution, which sets a 10-year limit for presidents.
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Togo's president, Faure Gnassingbe, said he remains convinced of national unity after a weekend visit to the country's second city that was hit by anti-government protests. Gnassingbe revealed on Sunday evening he had travelled to Sokode -- the home city of Tikpi Atchadam, who has led three months of street demonstrations. "My exchanges with the imams and senior figures left me reassured that our country remains indivisible," he said in a statement. "The damage and violence suffered by this town...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Togo's authorities were on Friday urged to end their crackdown on anti-government protests and open talks to end a months-long political crisis. Thirteen international and local human rights organisations said the government should "end the bloody repression" and talk to those involved in the stand-off. The call came as thousands of opposition supporters again took to the streets of the capital, Lome, to demand the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe. Three days of marches have been planned for this week, ending on Saturday. Friday's demonstration passed off without incident...

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