News / Africa

Togo Opposition to Continue Protests

Opposition leader Isabelle Ameganvi calls on Togo's women to observe a one-week sex strike in Togo to demand the resignation of the country's president, August 25, 2012
Opposition leader Isabelle Ameganvi calls on Togo's women to observe a one-week sex strike in Togo to demand the resignation of the country's president, August 25, 2012
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look
DAKAR — Anti-government protests are intensifying in Togo, where female opposition leaders have called for weeklong sex strike to begin Monday.  Protesters are calling for the resignation of the country's president, whose family has ruled the West African nation since 1967.

The female wing of the opposition "Save Togo" movement has called for Togolese women to abstain from sex for one week as part of ongoing protests against President Faure Gnassingbe.

The movement has been taking to the streets since June to call for Mr. Gnassingbe's resignation, as well as the reversal of electoral reforms the opposition claims favor the ruling party in upcoming parliamentary elections.

The sex strike was announced at a peaceful rally Saturday where opposition leaders called for acts of civil disobedience.

Opposition politician, Isabelle Ameganvi, said the women's plan has met with resistance, even within the movement. “The men of “Sauvons le Togo” ["Save Togo"] came and they begged the women to lessen this idea because the idea was very difficult for them.  But all the women who were at the manifestation [demonstration] have said ‘no,'” she said.

She said authorities have until Thursday to release all protesters detained last week or the women will march naked through the capital.

Togo's security minister said Sunday authorities have released 119 people detained during last week's clashes between protesters and police.  Authorities said eight people, who were allegedly armed with knives, remain in custody.

The "Save Togo" movement has promised more marches and a sit-in in the capital, Lome, this week.

Last week's demonstrations slid into violence as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors who hurled rocks and shouted slogans against Gnassingbe.

The opposition has turned down a government offer to negotiate.

"Save Togo" representative, Claude Ameganvi, said they have reached the point of no return and Mr. Gnassingbe cannot remain head of state, claiming to govern as the situation deteriorates to this point. He says people have had enough, everybody's angry, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.

Faure Gnassingbe came to power in violent, disputed elections in 2005 after the death of his father, who had run the country for 38 years. He was re-elected to a second term in 2010 amid opposition complaints of fraud and intimidation.

Manager of the Paris-based Africa-risk analysis group Strategico, Lydie Boka, says the protests mark a "turning point" in what has been a gradual, albeit primarily superficial, opening up of the regime in the wake of the Arab Spring.  

The government has not used lethal force against protesters, a departure from previous uprisings and a sign of what Boka says is the regime's attention to its global image.  But Boka says it is unlikely that protesters will push out the president.  She says the Gnassingbe family has remained in power for decades, thanks to powerful economic interests and its strong ethnic ties to the military.  She says the protests could lead to certain key wins for the opposition, including the redrawing of legislative districts.

Togo holds a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, which Boka said makes the Gnassingbe regime strategically important to foreign powers like the United States and France and could limit international support for the opposition movement.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid