Togo to free 45 opposition supporters from custody
Nearly half of the opposition supporters arrested during a wave of anti-government demonstrations in Togo will be pardoned, Ghanaian mediators have said as talks to end a six-month political crisis got under way in Lome.
Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe “has decided to give a presidential pardon to 45 of the 92 people detained … following their participation in protests,” said Ghanaian delegation spokesperson Daniel Osei late on Monday.
“Togo’s courts will look at the situations of the other detainees on a case-by-case basis,” he added in a statement.
A coalition of 14 opposition parties had made the release of those arrested during the protests a condition of its participation in talks with the government.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde are acting asmediators in the talks which are taking place behind closed doors at a city hotel.
Osei said the first day of talks took place in a “good atmosphere and led to successful conclusions”, including an agreement to suspend protests until the end of the dialogue.
The opposition wants the reintroduction of a two-term limit on presidents, applied retroactively, to prevent the current head of state seeking re-election in 2020 and 2025.
Gnassingbe, whose family has been in power in Togo for 50 years, took over from his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, on his death in 2005.