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Togo crisis: Gnassingbe pardons 45 opposition supporters

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.

The meeting, which was facilitated by President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.

A presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018, permits the release of forty-five (45) out of the ninety-two (92) persons detained in the country’s prisons as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations.

“The case of the seven (7) persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February, 2018,” the Communiqué said.

The statement added, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”

Additionally, “both Parties also agreed to a suspension of demonstrations, pending the outcome of the dialogue.”

An issue that was raised by the coalition of 14 opposition parties, on the return to the plenary, was the need for the state to hold on to planned local and parliamentary elections, and referendum until the dialogue had considered and taken decisions on the Electoral and Institutional Reforms contained in the Rules of Procedure.

The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.

Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.

It was agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, 23rd February, 2018.

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