News Brief

The Togolese Government Has Blocked the Internet In Response to Nationwide Protests

Hundreds of thousands of Togolese citizens have taken to the streets to protest the long-standing rule of President Faure Gnassingbe.

Over the last few days, hundreds of thousands have headed to the streets of Togo to protest the rule of President Faure Gnassingbe.


Gnassignbe's family has been in leadership for 50 years. Togolese opposition leaders are moving for his immediate removal. Gnassingbe has offered his own amendment in response, which would limit presidential terms to a maximum of two, however, his draft has been rejected as  most believe that it would apply retroactively, allowing Gnassingbe to remain in office till 2030.

Thousands of Togolese have expressed extreme discontent with his leadership and are demanding legitimate constitutional reform.

"The president's position is very fragile, and we do not think his peers in ECOWAS or his friends in Europe will help him if things get ugly," Francois Conradie, head of research at NKC African Economics, told Al Jazeera.

In what appears to be an attempt by the government to silence critics, the internet and SMS texting have been blocked.

Togolese activist, Farida Nabourema has shared videos and images from the protests via her Twitter page. "The millions of Togolese that took the streets to say enough of 50 years of the Gnassingbe dictatorship are just tired of the abuse in #Togo," she wrote. View the footage below.

 

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

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