Tens of thousands of people again took to the streets of Lome Saturday to protest against the regime of President Faure Gnassingbe..
Responding to calls by the coalition of 14 political parties of the opposition, protesters march through the Togolese capital, chanting slogans hostile to the regime.
Jean-Pierre Fabre, leader of the opposition and Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, coordinator of the coalition, walked in the middle of the procession, supervised by the police.
We will never be tired, this time we will go to the end of this fight that we have started for several months.
“We will never be tired, this time we will go to the end of this fight that we have started for several months,” said Alain, taxi driver and motorcycle driver.
“Nobody will give up, because we are already seeing the end of this regime fiftieth anniversary,” said a protester, wearing an orange T-shirt, struck with the effigy of Mr. Fabre.
No incidents were recorded during this new protest, the third this week. On Thursday, the march was dispersed by tear gas, because the demonstrators did not follow the planned route, the police said.
The opposition said ,at least 12 people were injured, and about 15 arrested.
Since September, the opposition coalition has organized almost weekly demonstrations against the president, heir to a family in power for 50 years.
Faure Gnassingbé has been Togo’s leader since 2005, succeeding his father, General Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who led the country for 38 years.
A draft revision of the constitution is under way, but the limitation to two presidential terms is not retroactive, and would allow the president to represent himself in 2020 and then in 2025, which the opposition rejects.
Several West African countries, worried about the instability that the Togolese crisis may cause, have called for talks between the government and the opposition, mediated by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and Guinea’s Alpha Conde.
But the dialogue which was announced earlier in November by the government, has not begun.
The opposition is demanding “appeasement measures” including release of protesters in prison and the withdrawal of security forces in the north, before the start of talks.