The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been urged to swiftly intervene in the political crisis in Togo to forestall a catastrophe.
Making the appeal in Accra, Mr. Prince Charles Sackeyfio, President of the Emperor Gaza International Foundation (EGIF), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), expressed worry at the indifference of the two African Organizations, stating that, if not tackled the crisis could affect other countries in the sub-region.
“AU and ECOWAS need to act fast to stop the crisis in Togo from worsening. If that happens countries like Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso, would suffer the consequences as neighbors,” Mr. Sackeyfio stated.
He recalled that a similar crisis in the same country some years back, spilled over to Ghana with accompanying economic and social problems.
“With that experience behind us as neighbors, the AU and ECOWAS must not wait till things become bad like in Rwanda before intervening; it would be like killing the snake after it has bitten,” he said.
He called for a meeting between the disputing factions in a neutral country under the leadership of the two continental bodies, for dialogue. This, he believes, would prevent further bloodshed in the country as a result of military attacks on protesting civilians.
He warned that posterity would not forgive the African leaders if the situation ends up in a similar situation in Liberia.
The opposition in Togo is calling for the return to the 1992 constitution that puts a two-term limit on the presidential tenure. The incumbent president, Faure Gnassingbe is in his third term after taking over at the demise of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005.
Faure’s twelve years in power raises the Gnassingbe family’s rule to 50 years after his father’s 38 years in power.
Series of protests in recent times have resulted in attacks by the Army on civilians with reports of deaths.