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Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé to begin dialogue with opposition ''in a few weeks''


Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé said Monday in Abidjan that a dialogue with the opposition was “under preparation” and that it could take place “in a few weeks”.

“Whatever the situation, whatever the evolutions, it must end with dialogue and this dialogue is being prepared.To enter into dialogue you have to be two, my only voice is not enough. think that in a few weeks this dialogue will open, “he said.

“I cannot tell you more, the discussions are underway, and when we are around the dialogue table we can put forward our arguments … and the decision will be consensual”, concluded Mr Gnassingbé, who will return to Abuja on Tuesday to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We are confident, we want peace in Togo, we believe that peace is indispensable for economic and social development,” said Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

The opposition has been mobilizing for several months in Togo to demand deep institutional reforms and especially the departure of Mr. Gnassingbé, heir to a family in power for more than 50 years.

Protests in recent weeks have killed at least 16 people – including teenagers and two soldiers lynched by the crowd – and many injured in clashes with law enforcement, particularly in the north of the country.

Power and opposition, engaged in a tug of war, continue to be blamed for the violence despite multiple attempts at mediation by the heads of state of West Africa.

Lastly, a delegation sent by the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo – himself mandated by his peers in the subregion – met last week in Lomé the opposition leaders to gather power and opposition around the same table.

Meanwhile, the head of state of Guinea and current President of the African Union (AU), Alpha Condé, announced Thursday that he would soon receive the Togolese opposition to try to find a “peaceful” way out of the crisis. , having met his Togolese counterpart in recent days.

The Togolese government promised to hold a referendum to adopt a reform including a limitation of presidential terms, but the measure is not retroactive and allows Mr. Gnassingbé to run in the polls of 2020 and 2025.

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