Togo police fire tear gas to disperse protestBy AFP | Tuesday, August 21 2012 at 15:50
Togolese authorities fired tear gas Tuesday to disperse a march by several thousand people in the capital, the first of three days of planned protests the government had vowed to block from a main commercial area.
Protesters scattered after the tear gas was fired and it was unclear whether they would regroup.
The government has sought to ban protests in the capital Lome, citing the difficulty of maintaining security.
Togo's security minister Colonel Yark Damehane on Monday vowed that the rally would not take place, as authorities would block access to the area.
A coalition of civil society and opposition groups called Let's Save Togo, which has led a wave of recent protests, had called for rallies between August 21 to 23 in Deckon, a major commercial centre in Lome.
The group insisted the demonstration would go ahead as scheduled, despite the minister's warnings.
While the elections are expected to be held in October in the West African nation, no precise date has been set.
Togo has been run by the same family for more than four decades. Gnassingbe Eyadema ruled the country for 38 years with an iron fist until his death in 2005.
Faure Gnassingbe was installed in the presidency by the army in 2005 shortly after the announcement of the death of his father, who had been a general. He has since won elections in 2005 and 2010.
- AU won’t recognise Madagascar poll win by Rajoelina
- Four Nigerians among 5 shortlisted for African writing prize
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- Zimbabwe lecturer jailed for Mugabe 'donkey' slur
- Liberia media to maintain 'blackout' on president
- Somali PM disowns Jubaland 'presidents'
- Is aid to South Africa drying up?
- Juba and Khartoum strike new peace tune
- Somaliland marks unrecognised independence
Beyond the ballot