Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo since 2005, was received this Friday, April 9, at the Elysee Palace for a working lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron. A reception criticized by the civil society movement, Togo Standing, while Amnesty International condemned in December last year a “growing repression of opponents” in the country.
This meeting between the two leaders as part of a visit that began on Wednesday was, according to the Togolese Presidency, placed under a sign of a revitalization of the relationship between Lomé and Paris.
“Strengthened partnership”, “confirmed commitment”, we welcome Togolese side. With two aspects highlighted after this work lunch on the Elysee, first economics and progress in purchasing solar lampposts, electrifying some fifty Togolese medium-sized cities and sharing knowledge,
Then the convergence of views on the jihadist threat in the Sahel. The Togolese contingent for the UN mission in Mali has 1,100 troops, and Lomé organized the first meeting of the monitoring and support group for Malia’s transition on 8 March.
A close friend of Faure Gnassingbé confirms that the two heads of state have the same wavelength: the international community must remain mobilized and support the countries of the sub-region. He adds that mobilization also means making the necessary resources available to countries fighting terrorism.
When it comes to political tensions in Togo? For Minister Gilbert Bawara, “when topics as important as development or peace are on the table, I do not think two heads of state will start talking about domestic issues, however.”
We also reiterated our joint commitment on regional issues to combat terrorism and support the transition to #Mali.
– Faure E. Gnassingbe (@FEGnassingbe) April 9, 2021
It is a bad message because of the context in Togo, the pressure on the opposition. It is a reception that does not send a good message to the defenders of democracy in Africa.
Laurent Duarte, coordinator of the civic movement “Tournons La Page”