Goethe Institute in Togoattacked in election violence

29th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 April 2005, NAIROBI - Masked men attacked the German cultural centre in the Togo capital Lome early on Friday, destroying the main library of the Goethe Institute, but causing no injuries. The attack came after the Togolese interior minister accused Germany, the former colonial power, of supporting the opposition.

29 April 2005

NAIROBI - Masked men attacked the German cultural centre in the Togo capital Lome early on Friday, destroying the main library of the Goethe Institute, but causing no injuries. The attack came after the Togolese interior minister accused Germany, the former colonial power, of supporting the opposition.

The violence was a late spark in two days of clashes following publication of provisional results for the presidential election on Tuesday showed ruling party candidate Faure Gnassingbe had won the elections.

Opposition leader Emmanuel Bob-Akitani claimed the presidency the next day, with his aides saying they could prove he had won at least 70 percent of the votes.

Street blockades were set up around Lome, prompting the military to bring in heavy equipment to clear the city's thoroughfares.

Calls for a national unity government to quell the ensuing violence came from surrounding African nations and elsewhere in the international community. The US criticised what it called voting irregularities.

In terms of human cost, casualty counts varied, with the Red Cross saying several people died and other reports putting the toll as high as 22.

The UN on Thursday had said 4,000 Togolese had fled to neighbouring Benin and Ghana. The Ghanaian embassy in Lome had been among the foreign representations targeted by street violence.

Togo has been under the international spotlight since the death in February of President Gnassingbe Eyadema after 38 years in power.

Hours after his death, the army installed his son Faure in his place, prompting an outcry from the international community with the African Union calling it a military coup.

A few weeks after his ascent to power, Faure Gnassingbe agreed to step down, and announced elections would be held. Shortly thereafter, he said he would stand as the candidate for the ruling party.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article