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11.02.2005 Togo

Civil society group calls for restoration of constitutional rule in Togo

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Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - The Nigerian-based West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) on Friday condemned developments in Togo that have led to the son of the late Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema assuming power in that country and called for an immediate and unconditional return to legality and constitutional order.

A press statement singed by Mr Richard Konteh, WACSOF Coordinator and E-mailed to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said "immediate transition to power through constitutional means is the surest way to preserve the integrity of Togo in the community of nations. "The unfortunate and unravelling events that have led to the swearing in of the son of the late President as the new Head of State and the manipulation of sections of the Togolese Constitution to reinforce illegality constitute a flagrant abuse of the dignity and integrity of the Togolese people and cannot and should not be tolerated," the statement said.

"These acts are also in contravention of the ECOWAS Declaration of Political Principles of 1991, the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the Algiers Declaration of 1999 and Articles 4 (p) and 30 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union of 2002."

WACSOF noted that as West Africans continued to struggle to spread democracy and civil liberties and to promote peace and security in the ECOWAS Sub-Region, it was incumbent upon the entire membership of civil society to fight for the immediate restoration of democratic freedom and constitutionality in the Republic of Togo.

WACSOF called for reaffirmation of use of political, diplomatic and, if necessary, sanctions to restore constitutional rule and order in Togo and to avert a situation that could constitute a threat to regional peace and security in West Africa.

It also urged ECOWAS Leaders to nullify all steps undertaken since the death of President Eyadema to legalise illegality and to demand the immediate return to constitutional rule.

EACSOF called for non-violent civil action throughout the Sub-Region aimed at restoring the rule of law, human rights, constitutionality, democratic freedom and governance in Togo. It demanded the staging of non-violent civil demonstrations in front of all Togolese Diplomatic and Consular Offices throughout the Sub-Region on February 14 2005.

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