Leaders of the C14 political opposition coalition are calling for supporters to hold nationwide protests on Saturday, January 12, despite a government ban on gatherings. Demonstrators are expected to gather at three points across the capital Lomé on Saturday; the Catholic mission of Adidogomé, Totsi, and Badohoun. The coalition is calling for the country to return to the 1992 constitution and for the government to lift “de facto sieges” on the cities of Mango, Bafilo, Sokodé, Tchamba, Kara, and the districts of Lomé. Associated demonstrations are possible in other major cities and urban areas across the country; however, as of Monday, January 7, specific details regarding other protests have not been released. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites.
Political tensions remain high in Togo after the Constitutional Court confirmed the results of the December 20 legislative elections on December 31. The ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) party won 59 out of 91 seats in the National Assembly. C14 members boycotted the election and have claimed that the vote was “fraudulent.”
The wave of political protests came 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 road map 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.
Individuals in Togo are advised to monitor local media, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and refrain from discussing domestic political issues in public.
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