Media

Press Releases and Statements

Here are the our most recent statement on events in Togo.

  • Washington D.C., 10 Avril 2020La pandémie du Covid-19 pose une menace sérieuse au bien-être de la population togolaise rendue particulièrement vulnérable par de longues décennies de mauvaise gouvernance et de répression. Au vu de la réponse initiale apportée à ce fléau planétaire par le gouvernement Togolais, La Togolese Civil League s’inquiète des balbutiements, de la désorganisation ainsi que des incohérences dans la gestion de cette crise. La Togolese Civil League met en garde le gouvernement togolais contre toute tentative de récupération politique de cette crise grave à des fins partisanes et prend à témoin les acteurs nationaux et internationaux quant à toute action néfaste sur la population togolaise.
    Plusieurs faits récents justifient l’inquiétude de la Togolese Civil League à savoir :- L’octroi des pleins pouvoirs à l’exécutif par l’Assemblée Nationale
    - La mise en place d’un couvre-feu dont l’exécution fait l’objet d’exactions sévères et brutales à l’encontre la population
    - La mise en place d’une force spéciale militaire pour « lutter contre le Covid-19 », signalant ainsi une militarisation de la réponse gouvernementale face à un virus invisible.
    - La conditionnalité de l’assistance sociale à la possession d’une carte d’électeur avec pour conséquence manifeste la punition des citoyens non-inscrits sur les listes électorales ou qui auraient égaré leurs cartes. De plus, la Togolese Civil League juge insuffisantes les mesures prises par le gouvernement et appelle à :- La mise à la disposition du personnel sanitaire d’équipements de protection personnels adéquats et en quantité suffisante
    - Une augmentation de l’assistance sociale en vue de l’aligner au salaire minimum
    - La mise en place d’un système de distribution de vivres aux plus vulnérables affectés par les mesures de restrictions prises par le gouvernement.La Togolese Civil League rappelle que le Togo est toujours en proie à une crise politique profonde et que cette crise, au détour des récentes élections ne saurait occulter les enjeux réels de la démocratie, de la justice et de la bonne gouvernance ; enjeux pour lesquels les Togolais se sont levés depuis le 5 octobre 1990. Elle appelle les citoyens à rester vigilants et mobilisés pour exiger le respect des droits inaliénables, la redevabilité des institutions publiques ainsi que l’adaptation continue des mesures d’accompagnement effectives pour protéger les plus vulnérables.
    Dans ce sens, la Togolese Civil League demande :1. L'arrêt immédiat toute violence dans la mise en vigueur des mesures de confinement et la poursuite de sanctions pénales appropriées contre les responsables de ces violences.2. La publication des détails du « fonds de riposte contre le Covid19 » en vue de garantir sa gestion transparente, éliminer les risques de détournement ou de gabegie et accroître la confiance dans les institutions
    3. La garantie de la liberté d’information et la protection des media dont le rôle est capital dans la gestion de la crise, ainsi que la mise en place d’une unité de communication officielle qui réagit positivement aux demandes d’information
    4. L'élaboration d’un plan d’urgence globale en vue de garantir une justice sociale consécutive aux effets de la pandémie.Le Covid-19 représente une menace planétaire qui ne peut être repoussée ni par la violation des droits inaliénables des citoyens, ni par la gestion opaque des ressources disponibles sans redevabilité envers les populations. La Togolese Civil League continuera de monter la garde citoyenne des institutions publiques pour s’assurer que les standards les plus élevés dans la gestion des crises de cette gravité soient respectés et que le gouvernement soit tenu responsable devant le peuple.
    ./.

  • TCL Letter to President Akufo-Addo in regards to the safety of Togolese Refugees in Ghana

    Accra, January 2, 2019
    To: His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana
    CC: The parliament of Ghana
    Your excellency,
    On Tuesday January 1, 2019 witness reports from Jasikan, Ghana confirmed by the news media has exposed a plot by Togo security forces to arrest some political dissidents on ghanaian soil. The plot was foiled by the vigilant residents of Jasikan who arrested three members of the togolese squad and handed them over to the ghanaian authorities. Unfortunately, the alleged offenders were escorted back to Togo before any proper investigation and appropriate sanction to what appear to be a state sponsored kidnaping in a foreign country.
    The Togolese Civil League strongly condemns the actions of the Togolese government who is notorious for brutalizing and killing its citizens who express political views.
    The Togolese Civil League is concerned about the handling of this incident by the ghanaian authorities without a full a thorough investigation. It is odd that an allegation as serious as kidnapping, executed by foreign security forces did not get the proper due diligence required to send a clear message and reassure citizens. It is important to remind Ghanaian authorities about the duty to protect refugees under international agreements.
    This is not, unfortunately, the first time the togolese government is committing a crime on ghanaian soil including the murders in 1995 of former government official Felix Amegan and opposition leader Lieutenant Vincent Tokofai and in 1997 of former Togolese diplomat and dissident Ferdinand Romuard.
    The Togolese Civil League is:
    grateful to the residents of Jasikan for defending their Togolese hosts
    calling for a full investigation of this incident and for the results of the investigation to be made public.
    requesting that all responsible parties be held accountable and brought to justice
    asking for Ghana to provide adequate protection for the Togolese refugees within its border according to the ghanaian value of hospitality, compassion and history of upholding human rights.
    The Togolese Civil League is pleading that you use your full authority and influence to ensure the welfare of Togolese who have had to flee their country due to the ongoing political crisis.

    Farida Bemba Nabourema
    Executive Director
    Farida.Nabourema@TCLTogo.org

  • Highlights of the Government repression as of December 2018.

    December 30, 2018

    For the past 18 months, Togo has been experiencing a serious political crisis triggered by protests that started on August 19, 2017. Constitutional term limit and a two rounds ballot system are at the heart of the issue. Negotiation between the government and the main opposition parties have stalled. Meanwhile, sporadic street protests have led to clashes between the security forces and the civilians, causing death and injuries among the population. The situation remains tenses even after the legislative elections held on December 20, 2018. The election was largely boycotted by the population but gave a large victory to the ruling party in the incoming parliament.Here is a summary of the current situation in Togo.
    A militarized state
    Since the beginning of the demonstrations in 2017, the security forces response has been brutal. The government has used a combination of police forces, the gendarmerie and the military to respond to protests and control the cities. There are deployment of forces in all cities across Togo. This includes tanks, army patrol vehicles, fool patrols and heavily armed security forces. There is also the use of militia that are threatening, intimidating and reporting pro opposition citizens to the authorities. Local officials such the the prefects are also using their powers to threaten the population. This is all a part of a deliberate efforts to close spaces and put communities on a lockdown. As a result, many people have fled to neighboring countries or simply gone underground.
    Political prisoners
    Member of the civil society remain in jailed. Messenth Kokodoko and Joseph Eza has been detained since october 2017 without trial and denied bail. Assiba Johnson and Folly Satchivi are also being detained without trial. Dozen more people arrested during protests are being detained.
    Civil Liberties
    The government has denied protests authorization to the opposition. They have also forbidden press conference or meeting in private facilities. Freedom of expression and freedom of association are seriously restricted. There are also countless videos of the gendarmes beating civilians on the streets.
    Killings
    Ahead of the December election, 3 people were killed by the security forces during the elections. The government is using firearms to respond to peaceful demonstrators. On December 1, there was a video showing an army pickup truck cruising on a dirt road. From the truck, a military man emerged with a rifle, aimed and shot. Eyewitness report that the shot hit a 12 year old unarmed civilian. They also report that the man in the truck was the top commander of the Togolese Army, Gal Felix Kadanga. This add to the death toll of the Togo protests since 2017. Dozen of citizens including at least 5 minors have lost their lives. Many more were injured with bullet.

  • TCL Statement on the Killing of an unarmed child in Togo

    December 9, 2019
    The Togolese Civil League is gravely concerned with the killings of innocents Civilians during protests in Togo on Saturday December 8, 2018. Reports from Togo including eye witnesses and video recording clearly show the top official of Togolese Armed forces, General Felix Kadanga, cruising on a dirt road on a pickup truck, then aiming a rifle to shoot unarmed civilians. The Togolese Civil League has confirmed that the indiscriminate shooting has caused two lives including an 11 years old.
    A week prior, on November 29, Togo armed forces have shot expired tear gases in a classroom in Lome, harming dozens of schoolgirls. These is an act of terrorism and a violation of basic human right and international norms that can not go unpunished. The Togolese Civil League calls on the US State Department, the US Congress, International Human Right organizations and democracy advocacy groups to take an official position on these killing that can not be justified in any form as a normal police activity.
    The relative silence of the US government on the political violence in Togo surprisingly contrasts with the clear position is has taken on similar issues in Nicaragua, Venezuela and other parts of the worlds when state-sponsored violence and a direct involvement of armed forces are being used to oppress civilians.
    The Togolese Civil League is asking the US and the International Community to:
    conduct a full international investigation of the government’s use of violence in Togo
    re-assess the Togo Armed Forces involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world considering the involvement of their top official in the killing of civilians
    review military cooperation between the US and the Togo government
    support the Civil Society and protect civilians in Togo
    Democracy and Freedom are fundamental rights and no one deserved to be killed for asking for them. It is time to send a strong message and set a zero tolerance for the Togolese government when it come to the use of violence.

    Farida Bemba Nabourema
    Executive Director
    Farida.Nabourema@TCLtogo.org