The one thing keeping Africa backwards is western imperialism and it’s African agents. On the 4-5 June 2019, Chatham House, Britain’s premier Think Tank and The Law Society London would host the head of state of Africa’s most repressive , barbaric ,sadistic, totalitarian 52 years old “father to son” regime of Togo to talk about Togo’s Regional Role: Promoting Collective Security in West Africa. The irony is Faure Gnassingbe uses daily “state terror” to maintain his grip on power. We they traumatized , dehumanized, orphans , exiled children of Togo would like to ask the British establishment if they would like to live under the regime of #FaureGnassingbe for a day or two?
A #Brexit Britain which treats it’s black/African population with contempt as third class citizens due to institutional racism, racist #HostileEnvironment immigration rules should have no business cajoling African despots and tyrants who create refugees and asylum seekers.
The fact that #ChathamHouse a racist imperialist institution would invite a well known tyrant, dictator that rules African people in Togo with iron fist, daily state terror confirms what we already know, British businesses, aided and abetted by the crypto right wing conservative UK government, are at the forefront of the new ‘Scramble for Africa’, according to a new report published by War on Want.
The report, The New Colonialism: Britain’s scramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources, reveals that as many as 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the majority of which are British, have mining operations in Africa and control resources worth in excess of $1 trillion.
SUMMARY OF THE TOGOLESE POLITICAL SCENE
Colonisation ” Scramble for Africa” : In a 1884 treaty signed at Togoville under King Mlapa III, Germany declared a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the west African coast and gradually extended its control inland. In 1905, this became the German colony of Togoland.
League of Nations Mandate: After the German defeat during World War I in August 1914 at the hands of British troops (coming from the Gold Coast) and French troops (coming from Dahomey), Togoland became two League of Nations mandates, administered by Britain and France.
United Nations Trust territory: After World War II, these mandates became UN Trust Territories. The residents of British Togoland voted to join the Gold Coast as part of the new independent nation of Ghana in 1957, and French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union in 1959.
Nominal Political Independence: A short lived Independence came in 1960 under Sylvanus Olympio. He was assassinated when he was handed over to his assailants by the US ambassador to Togo Leon B Palouda in a USA, France backed military coup on 13 January 1963 by a group of soldiers under the direction of Sergeant Etienne Eyadema Gnassingbé. Opposition leader Nicolas Grunitzky was appointed president by the “Insurrection Committee”, headed by Emmanuel Bodjollé.
Military Totalitarian dictatorship: On 13 January 1967, Eyadema Gnassingbé overthrew Grunitzky in a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency, which he held from that date until his sudden death on 5 February 2005.
Perpetuation of brutal military power and State Terror: Eyadema Gnassingbé died in early 2005 after 38 years in power, as Africa’s longest-sitting dictator. The military’s immediate but short-lived installation of his son, Faure Gnassingbé, as president provoked widespread condemnation, except from France. However, some democratically elected African leaders such as Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, supported that move, thereby creating a rift within the African Union. Faure Gnassingbé stood down and called elections which he won two months later. The opposition claimed that the election was fraudulent. The developments of 2005 led to renewed questions about a commitment to democracy made by Togo in 2004 in a bid to normalise ties with the European Union, which cut off aid in 1993 over the country’s human rights record. Moreover, up to 1400 people were killed in the political violence surrounding the presidential poll that brought Faure Gnassingbe to power in 2005, according to the United Nations. Around 40,000 Togolese fled to neighboring countries. Faure Gnassingbé has been ruling since.
Overview of the recent political situation in Togo
- A national conference was convened on 26 June 1991 after an agreement was reached between the opposition groups and the government on 12 June 1991. The opposition-led national conference elected Joseph Kokou Koffigoh as Prime Minister and planned new elections for June 1992.
- Apart from the radical representatives of opposition groups in exile that returned to Togo for the national conference, the conference attracted local opposition forces mainly made up of lawyers, academics and emerging business people.
- On 5thDecember 1991, The Togolese army moved in to reclaim the executive power on behalf of President Eyadéma.
- Followed a reign of terror that drove many opposition leaders to flee the country in droves.
- In September 1992 a new constitution was approved in a referendum, but in October 1992 troops occupied the parliament, taking all non-RPT Members of Parliament hostage until they agreed to pay a ransom to the soldiers.
- The reign of terror continued into 1993. Hundreds of people were reported killed in Lomé in January 1993. This triggered a further stream of refugees from Togo into Ghana and Bénin.
- The scheduled presidential elections in August 1993 went ahead with Eyadéma as the only candidate. The main opposition leader, Gilchrist Olympio, was not allowed to stand and the other opposition candidates (among them Edem Kodjo and Yao Agboyibor) boycotted the elections.
- After the death of Eyadema in February 2005, the army succeeded in installing his son Faure Gnassingbé as his successor after a campaign of terror and intimidation that led to the death of 1400-1500 civilians with impunity.
- Faure Gnassingbé was re-elected in 2010. Following this re-election, a new political party, ANC (Alliance Nationale pour le Changement), together with the other opposition parties united within the FRAC movement (Front Républicain pour l’Alternance et le Changement) have organised a regular protests and demonstrations to force the government to agree to democratic reforms. This movement has recently been joined by the CST –Comité Sauvons le Togo. These demonstrations have led to regular clashes with security forces and resulted in regular interpellation of opposition leaders and demonstrators.
- The persecution of opposition parties has been a daily occurrence in Togo since the early days of the military regime.
- The government has recently stepped up its campaign of intimidation of the opposition by through a string of arrests and unfounded accusations of criminal acts, especially following the burning of the central markets of Lome and Lama Kara in January 2013.
- Since August 2017 the Togolese liberation struggle has been reinvigorated by the advent of PNP of Mr Tikpi Atchadam asking the totalitarian regime to return to the 1992 constitution put in place by the sovereign people of Togo.
This request was met with fire and fury, brute force, political assassinations , and systematic oppression of civilians with the complicity and duplicity of the so called international community. Africans must understand we are on our own, we have no friends, we have to rely on our own.
May our land, people culture and rich history be our guide for emancipating Africa but first all Africans especially the youths must reject Western imperialism in all its forms. African youths must rise up against local African traitors and agents of empire, you know them, tell the youths the truth, prepare the youths for the long, tough, but noble struggle for liberation…
The race is renewed through its children, we are our ancestors who fought against imperialism. Our struggle continues till victory is ours…
Koffi de Lome, Political Activist, Human rights advocate. Twitter: @afrilivesmatter