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10.02.2005 Togo

ECOWAS is not undermining sovereignty of Togo - Kufuor

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Accra, Feb 10, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was not trying to impugn the sovereignty of Togo, but was only appealing to the people of that country to correct the situation.

He said it was within the collective interest of the ECOWAS to stay within the agreed values such as democracy and good governance. President Kufuor was speaking to Journalists at the Kotoka International Airport upon his return from Niamey, Niger where he attended the extraordinary ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments Summit on Togo.

Briefing Journalists on a communiqu=E9 that was issued at the meeting of the Heads of States and Governments, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Foreign Affairs Minister said the communiqu=E9 strongly condemned the Military Government in Togo, and the installation of Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema before the declaration of the vacancy created by the death of President Eyadema.

The Heads of State and Government expressed unanimous view that the action of the Togo Military constituted a coup d'etat, and equally condemned the legislative manipulation of the Constitution by the National Assembly manifested by the numerous amendments to the Constitution in Togo, undertaken on Sunday, February 6, 2005.

The Heads of State and Governments affirmed the principle of non-recognition of any government that came to power by unconstitutional means and in that regard upheld the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance in 2001, which prohibits obtaining and maintaining power by unconstitutional means.

The Heads of State decided to send a level delegation of the Heads of State, comprising President Mamaduo Tandja, Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin, President Kufuor of Ghana, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Toumani Toure as well as the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare.

The high level ECOWAS delegation is mandated to express in strong terms to the Togolese Authorities the need to revert to the status quo by allowing the succession to President Eyadema to proceed in compliance with the 1992 Constitution of Togo before it was amended.

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