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
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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More