The opposition coalition is organizing political meetings on September 22-23 in 19 different cities, including the capital Lomé. While the gatherings are intended to be informational meetings, dispersal attempts by the security forces cannot be excluded, which would likely result in clashes.
This comes after the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) published the electoral calendar on September 18. Local elections and a constitutional referendum will be held together on December 16, followed by legislative elections on December 20.
A wave of nationwide protests was initiated in August 2017, with opposition and civil society activists demanding that President Faure Gnassingbé step down. These groups are also in favor of a constitutional two-term presidential limit and for it to be applied retroactively, to prevent Gnassingbé from running again in 2020. Some 19 protesters have been killed since the start of the protest campaign.
Talks are ongoing between ECOWAS, the government, and the opposition coalition though a consensus still remains to be reached in an effort to resolve the ongoing political crisis.
Individuals in Togo, particularly Lomé, are advised to avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence, closely monitor developments, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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