Two killed in Togo clashes

Monday December 10 2018

Women in a trance-like state call curses on the government during a march in Togo's capital Lome on September 20, 2012, organised by Let's Save Togo, an opposition and civil society coalition that has called on President Faure Gnassingbe to resign. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Two people died on Monday in Sokode, an opposition stronghold in central Togo, following days of violence between security forces and opposition supporters, sources said.
A man was shot dead and another was beaten and thrown into a fire after clashes broke out over the weekend ahead of legislative elections scheduled to take place later this month.

"This morning the military blocked all the streets and demanded the children to go home," said Mr Ouro Akpo Tchagnaou, a local politician from the opposition party ANC (National Alliance for Change).

"A young man was shot dead," said Mr Tchagnaou.

A witness at the scene told AFP that the man was shot in the street.

All the rallies

"The situation is really tense," said the resident on condition of anonymity.


"Nothing is moving, the military are breaking up all the rallies and youths are setting up barricades in the streets to stop the military from coming to town," he said.

A video of the shot man covered in blood on the ground went viral on social media, the opposition's main tool to gather support.

"There was a death in Sokode" on Monday morning, Amnesty International's representative for Togo Aime Adi told AFP.

"I confirm the death," Adi said.

Failed negotiations

"Our colleague is there, the body was sent to the hospital and the prosecutor was contacted to have the body examined by a (forensic) doctor," Adi said.

At least two other people have died in violence this weekend according to official accounts, while the opposition puts the death toll higher at three.

Four members of the security forces were injured and 28 protestors were arrested, said the government in a statement published on Saturday evening.

The protests come after a year of political crisis and failed negotiations between Togo's government and the opposition, led by the regional bloc the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

The West African country is going through a turmoil with massive protests calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe.