Opposition wants troops curtailment, release of prisoners
By John Eche
Some reprieve has come for the Togolese people with mediators from Guinea and Ghana presently announcing that crisis talks between the government and opposition would hold on February 15.
As part of their preliminary demands to facilitate the talks, the opposition has asked for an immediate curtailment of the troops that had been deployed to break their rallies since the string of protests began last year and the release of all persons that had been detained in the process.
The substantive issues in the protest have to do with halting plans to amend the constitution to allow President Faure Gnassingbe to continue to run (and almost inevitably win) until 2030.
For the opposition, the President, whose family has run the country for five decades should voluntarily step down from office immediately or at the latest, in 2020 when his current term in office would lapse, and not put himself up for re-election.
Faure Gnassingbe has been in power since the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005.
The older Gnassingbe had come into power after a military coup in 1967.
Before the current thaw in the face-off, the Faure government had tried very desperately to break the ranks of the opposition through proposing managed talks with different segments of the opposition. There have also been a rash of strikes by teachers and health workers that have compounded the burdens of the ordinary Togolese.
President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo
of Togo may be