Leaders of the C14 opposition coalition have called on their supporters to protest in the capital Lomé on Saturday, November 17, to denounce issues surrounding the December 20 legislative elections and voter registration. An increased security presence and traffic disruptions are likely along the march route. Clashes between supporters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The opposition has stated that free and fair elections cannot be organized by December 20 given the ongoing political crisis.
The current wave of political protests comes amid negotiations - which resumed on June 27 after a three-month suspension - between the government and the opposition. According to a statement issued by opposition leaders, the government has refused to comply with a list of previously agreed upon demands, including a return to the 1992 constitution as well as a referendum on constitutional amendments to reform the electoral system. Furthermore, the coalition accuses the government of blocking the implementation of a roadmap outlined by the regional organization ECOWAS to end the ongoing political crisis. According to the C14, the government continues to arrest opposition activists and has refused to release detainees.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand that President Faure Gnassingbé, in power since 2005, step down. Over a dozen people have been killed in opposition protests ongoing since mid-August 2017.
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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