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14.02.2005 Togo

Ghana Should Invade Togo to Restore Democracy

By Osei-Dadzie, Kwabena
Ghana Should Invade Togo to Restore Democracy
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This article is in response to calls for Ghana to invade Togo to restore democracy. Better still, why can't Ghana and Nigeria agree to invade Togo and overthrow the recently installed Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema regime? Nigeria has more military resources and plainly speaking, would be able to bear a greater cost of such an invasion. Nigerian forces have to go through Benin to get to Togo. This means that the military attack could begin from the Ghana side of the border and as Togolese forces attempt to stop the invasion force from Ghana, the Nigerians would covertly emerge from the eastern part of Togo through Benin. Togo's weak military won't be able to successfully defend the two prong attacks, one from the east and the other from the west simultaneously. Kindly do not ask when I became an arm chair military strategist. I have never been to war anywhere nor have I been in the military. I have, however, read about a whole lot of wars and the strategies adopted, and the tactics deployed to win wars or repel enemy invasions. Please remember that it was the invasion of Uganda by Tanzania under Nyerere in the early 1980's, which brought about the overthrew of the Idi Amin dictatorship. Idi Amin ran to Saudi Arabia when the Tanzania forces invaded Uganda. That was the end of the Amin dictatorship. If Nigeria doesn't want to join Ghana, I would suggest that Ghana should go it alone. This is a call to arms against Togo. The Togolese capital, Lome, is directly across the border from Aflao. More importantly, majority of Ewes who have been victimized and discriminated against by Eyadema's regime over the years and who are in the majority in the Togolese capital and in the south of the country, would relish the opportunity to fight to restore real democracy in Togo. My sense is this: under President Kufour of Ghana, nothing would happen. President Kufour is too mild minded and absorbed in the so called democratic ways of resolving conflicts. What Kuffour should realize is that sometimes, not always, when peaceful means fails, force which most people loving people detest, is the unavoidable and perhaps the only best alternative applied to get the problem resolved. Kufour believes in democracy and feels that every problem can be amicable resloved through negotiations. I don't buy into that argument. Good intentions alone don't get problems resloved if the other party is recalcitrant. A little history here would remind us that what is happening in Togo today is similar to events in the Cote d'ivoire not too long ago. The events unfolded when Konin Badie,the speaker of the Ivorian parliament thwarted the efforts of the prime minister and used parliamentary manuevres to become the president after the death of Houphet Boigney. The result without going into too much details, was the coup by General Guei, the overthrow of the Konin Badie government, and eventual return to democratic rule. Peace didn't last long in the country before an insurgency led by forces loyal to Gui rebelled against the government of President Gbago. Gui himself was killed but the insurgency remains until today. The African union and the Ecowas group have not been able to resolve the issues dividing the parties. There is a civil war going on in the Cote I'Voire. There is also total chaos and the de facto partition of the country into two. The rebels control the northern part of the country and the Gbagbo government controls the southern part. The question is this: would Togo go the way of La Cote d'Ivoire? President Kuffour is to accompany President Obasanjo of Nigeria and the current head of the ECOWAS group, the president of Niger, President Mamadou Tandja, to the Togolese capital soon. I bet the three leaders together with the new president of Togo, would meet and afterwards issue a communique. Issuing "useless" communiques and condemnations by toothless African organizations such as the AU(African Union) and the Ecowas group, won't get democracy restored anywhere on the continent, especially in Togo. The ECOWAS is already talking about sanctions against Togo. It is simply pathetic. It won't work. Dictators don't care about sanctions and or its effects on the population at large. Dictators care only about themselves and the regime they head. The president who is dead, Eyadema, ruled Togo with iron fist for almost forty years and gave lip service to democracy. What happened in Togo over the weekend was nothing more than a coup d'etat orchestrated and staged with the full acquiesence of the Togolese military. The plot was diabolical and serves only the interests of the supportors and others who have benefitted greatly from the state largess under Eyadema. Most of these sycophants are mainly from Eyadema's own northern tribe. What happened in Togo is a disgrace and shameful. It would greatly set back the course of democratization in Africa. Kwabena Osei-Dadzie, Burlington, NC Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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