ELECTIONS A SHAM SAY ECUMENICAL PARTNERS OF TOGO CHURCHES
Six ecumenical bodies, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), have
appealed to the African Union and the Economic Community of West Africa
(ECOWAS) to bring the government of Togo and opposition parties to the
negotiating table so that they may together seek a solution to the current
The ecumenical appeal was made in an 18 May joint statement that emphasized
that the election was « a sham », and that its results « in no way legitimize
the power in place ».
The statement insisted that any viable solution to the crisis must rapidly
remedy the situation of insecurity and intimidation of the population, which
includes human rights violations, as well as restore a strict respect of
It also highlighted that « once again, it is the people of Togo who are
paying the heaviest tribute to the situation left by the sham of the recent
elections, with 20,000 refugees in neighbouring Bénin and Ghana and several
hundred dead ».
Violence erupted in Togo following presidential elections on 24 April and
the announcement that Faure Gnassingbe, the son of former president General
Gnassingbe Eyadéma, had been elected to succeed his father as president.
The statement was the third to be issued within the space of a month by an
ecumenical group invited by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Togo, the
Catholic Church and the Methodist Church of Togo to visit the country from
28 March to 3 April.
In its first statement at the end of its visit, the delegation of ecumenical
partners of the Togolese churches signalled the advisability of postponing
the elections. A second, 28 April, statement testified that the elections
were « hastily organized » in a manner that prevented people from registering
on the electoral lists.
All three joint statements – of 2 and 28 April and 18 May – were signed by
the Bremen Mission, Communauté d’Eglises en Mission (CEVAA), Service
Protestant de Mission (DEFAP), Fédération Protestante de France, World
Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches – News Release
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