AFRICA/TOGO - People of Togo call for firm intervention by international community

Thursday, 28 April 2005

Lome (Fides Service)- “Police road blocks and barricades erected by the young protesters are still in place” said local sources in Lome, capital Togo, on the brink of civil war after the announcement that Faure Gnassingbé Eyadema candidate of the party in power was announced the winner of elections on 24 April.
“People are too afraid to leave the house, hardly anyone is at work” the sources told Fides. It has been announced that to overcome the crisis Faure Gnassingbé Eyadema and opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio have agreed to form a government of national unity. “But the people accept a national unity government only as a step towards transition to real democracy” the sources told Fides. “The Togolese call on the international community to intervene to ensure that the national unity government is not a pretext for the regime to remain in power after 38 years of dictatorship. The people are tired they want real change and the advent of democracy”.
At least 22 people were killed in clashes over the past few days including 8 citizens of Niger, whose government protesters accuse of supporting the regime in power. Many were injured in the unrest and many are in flight Benin, where hundreds of Togolese have fled after clashes between young protesters and the police in Aneho, 45 from Lome. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/4/2005 righe 22 parole 265)