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Togo opposition halts protests as Ghana-led mediation bears fruits


Togolese opposition have announced a cessation of protests in the country following the first-round of political mediation led by President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo and a team of facilitators on Monday met with the 14-member opposition coalition and government representatives in a bid to solve a political crisis that has been raging since August 2017.

The opposition according to a communique secured significant gains from the talks with government agreeing to release over 40 persons detained over their role in crippling and sometimes violent nationwide protests.

President of #Ghana NAkufoAddo in Lome to mediate talks between opposition leaders and the government of #Togo about the ongoing crisis. #Togodebout #Fauremustgo pic.twitter.com/gDBNaLQApL

— Farida Nabourema (Farida_N) February 19, 2018

The government also agreed to put a group of detainees before the courts. The release of the prisoners is said to be as a result of a presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018. In all, forty-five (45) out of the ninety-two (92) detainees were to be released.

“The case of the seven (7) persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February, 2018,” the Communiqué issued at the end of the talks said.

It continued, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”

The next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, 23rd February, 2018. It is expected to address some key demands of the opposition among others that the government holds on to local and legislative polls till the issue of Electoral and Institutional Reforms are addressed.

The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.

Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.

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