Mobilization against the Coup d’Etat in Togo
While desperately awaiting action, everything has been said on the dramatic comedy currently playing out in Togo. There is no debate on the illegal succession quickly fixed up, on February 6-7, in Lomé by a small part of the Togolese armed forces and the members of parliament close to the late President’s party.
It is un-necessary to remind you that the Togolese Constitution forbids any modification of its fundamental provisions during the interim period triggered by the death of the President of the Republic. The interim is to be handled by the speaker of parliament who is obligated to organize elections within two months. For once and very clearly, these texts are not subject to interpretation and cannot be used for any compromise position.
One can never sufficiently point out the inconsistency of the methodology used. The president-king makers fetched a minister-prince turning him into a member of parliament, while as minister of equipment, mining and telecommunications he couldn’t be a member of parliament.
The unanimous condemnation that has been observed since the announcement of the coup on February 5, 2005, has for a while given back hope to the Togolese and African people, who have become used to the political acrobatics of their politicians and the indulgence of the former colonial power towards President Eyadema since the first military coup of the continent in 1963.
It is imperative that through mobilization we force the architects of this latest Coup d’Etat in Togo to move back.
Today, in spite of the un-reserved declarations of the African Union and the European Union, and the historical decisions of February 9, 2005 of the Francophonie and ECOWAS, the temptation of a “political solution” again seems to attract the leading protagonists and their sponsors. Any solution other than the strict respect of the Constitution that existed before the modifications of February 6, will be dangerous and dishonoring both for Africa and its well thinking “friends”.
One should remember that this small country of four million people has lived under a regime of terror marked by terrible periods such as the exodus beginning in 1993 of more than a million people, 50% of which have undoubtedly remained in exile since then. The population that stayed in Togo is totally deprived and financially wasted. Under these conditions, the cynical position which consists of recognizing this Coup d’Etat, while benefiting from the lack of immediate reaction of the population, will be dangerous. There is no doubt that the Togolese, in their great majority, aspire to a change of regime as they’ve expressed it in all the polls organized since 1994 in Togo. The systematic refusal of the results of these elections by the Togolese regime has never altered the people’s will of revival.
The compromise solution will not honor its authors or its promoters. How can the great nations preach for a better world and move back in front of a group of soldiers using methods of another world, who purely and simply come to insult the people’s intelligence and civilization?
Africa definitely aspires to modernity and progress. The Togolese example constitutes a regression which cannot be implicitly approved with indifference and silence. Cynicism and the mix of business and politics do not have their place here anymore. The time to examine their conscience has come for supporters of the Eyadema regime.
According to article 150 of the Constitution, “in the event of a Coup d’Etat, or unspecified coup by force (…), any Togolese has the most sacred right and the most imperative duty to organize in support of the failure of the illegitimate authority”. Bringing about the failure of this Coup d’Etat then becomes a constitutional duty for Togolese wherever they may be. To friends of Togo and the Togolese, this is an essential moral obligation.
It is imperative that the authors of the Coup d’Etat be compelled to move back, through mobilization, and wherever initiatives can be taken.
February 10, 2005
The Coalition against the coup d’Etat in Togo
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacts : Didier Acouetey, Pascal Agboyibor, Philip Amerding, Jean-Marc Savi de Tové, Demba Diallo