Violent Clashes in Togo after Imam Arrested

By on October 17, 2017

Violence broke out in Togo’s second city, Sokode, after the arrest of an imam close to the country’s main opposition, fueling tensions after weeks of anti-government protests.

“Electricity was cut off at about 7:00 p.m. (2100 GMT on Monday) after evening prayers,” said Ouro Akpo Tchagnaou, from the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC).

Five police vehicles arrived to arrest Alpha Alassane, a very well-known imam in the city, and population felt targeted and took to the streets.

Clashes lasted throughout the night until calm was restored but the authorities have been warned of renewed protests if Alassane is not freed.

Alassane has long been a dissenting voice in Togo but his arrest comes at a time of heightened political tension in Togo in recent months.

He has allied himself with the PNP of Tikpi Atchadam, who has spearheaded protests against President Faure Gnassingbe that have mobilized hundreds of thousands across the country.
The PNP and 13 other opposition parties are calling for political change in Togo to end the 50-year rule of the Gnassingbe family.

They want a limit on the number of presidential mandates to two — in line with practice elsewhere in west Africa — and the introduction of a two-round voting system.

The opposition parties have vowed to defy a government ban on midweek protests by marching in the capital Lome on Wednesday and Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *