In 1990, the Togolese people started a strong arm
for the democratization of its political institutions, and towards
good governance with an archaic dictatorship, now 35 years old.
This peaceful endeavour was met with extreme and bloody repressive
brutality from Eyadema's government; like the lagoon massacres at
Bè and Fréau Jardin Lagoons; the systematic violations
of rights and individual and collective freedoms; extra judiciary
executions; and the political assassinations reported numerous times
by Amnesty International (AI), the International Federation of Humans
Rights (FIDH), the American State Department, etc. Until now, the
Togolese Justice officials have not clarified any of these cases
of obvious violations of human rights, which also violate the Togolese
Constitution. The authors or sponsors of these acts, some identified
by name, are not worried and circulate freely. There were also the
extra-judicial executions at the time of the presidential elections
of 1998, at the end which the dictator Gnassingbé Eyadéma
was declared victorious under conditions disputed by the independent
observers, among whom were some from the European Union.
All these tragic events forced tens of thousands of Togolese to
escape to exile, towards Ghana and Benin, then France, Belgium,
Germany, England, the United States, Canada etc.
To regulate the dispute born of the forceful electoral high jacking
of June 1998, difficult negotiations known by the name, Inter-Togolese
Dialogue, were started under the supervision of facilitators named
by the European Union, the International Organization of the Francophonie,
France and Germany, in order to lead the country to a peaceful democratic
transition. The means were to be free, equitable and transparent
legislative and presidential elections. Three years later, no progress
As a consequence of the inflexibility and the bad faith of the Togolese
dictatorship, which confirmed an absence of good will to democratize
the country. Successive blockings of the preliminary works of the
elections, and finally the unilateral modification of the consensual
electoral code in February 2002, provide the latest evidence on
the RPT regime's lack of political will to keep its commitments
made in 1999 through the Lomé Agreement.
In spite of the economic sanctions imposed for several years by
the international community, the barons of the RPT regime always
find the means to fill their pockets. They travel easily to be treated
in the hospitals of the Western countries and they send their family
members to the schools and universities of these same countries.
Worse, the population is being punished for seeking another form
of government. The degradation of the educational and health systems
reflects this punishment. The national economy is on its knees,
under conditions in which those holding power in the regime benefit
by positioning themselves in state associations. The leaders of
the opposition and all those which protest against the dictatorial
system are slandered and attacked daily on the state owned media,
and they are not allowed to circulate freely inside the country
to meet people. The directors who publish the free press are pursued
and imprisoned, when they do not accept to pass official messages.
Vis-a-vis the tragedy which the Togolese people are undergoing,
we ask that targeted sanctions be enforced against the General Gnassingbé
Éyadéma, the moguls of his regime, their families,
and the repressive apparatus by which they function, namely:
" the refusal of visas of entry to all countries that defend
democracy and freedom, in particular the European Convention countries,
the United States and Canada.
" the freezing of their assets abroad until the political situation
" the freezing of any form of cooperation with the army and
the security services of Togo.
" the withdrawal of the rights of overflight and transit of
the military aircrafts of the Togolese government.
We believe that these measures can force the Togolese regime to
respect the commitments made and fulfil the requests of democracy,
good governance and respect of the personal and collective freedoms,
and especially to prevent an explosion of violence likely to create
another habitat of war on the African continent.
The following organizations are backing this call for targeted
Union des Ressortissants Togolais en Allemagne (URTA, Germany)
Diaspora Togolaise pour la Démocratie (Diastode, Canada,
Communauté Togolaise au Canada (CTC)
Mouvement Patriotique du 5 Octobre, MO5
Collectif des Togolais Vivant aux Antilles-Guyane (CTVAG)
Action Commune pour le Togo (ACT)
Association des Togolais en Berlin-Brandenburg (ATBB)
Association Togolaise de Normandie (ATN)