Francophonie group of nations suspends Togo

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 9 (AFP) - France's International Francophonie Organisation (OIF), grouping French-speaking nations around the world, on Wednesday suspended Togo as a member after the African country declared its late president's son its new ruler.

PARIS, Feb 9 (AFP) - France's International Francophonie Organisation (OIF), grouping French-speaking nations around the world, on Wednesday suspended Togo as a member after the African country declared its late president's son its new ruler.

The body's Paris-based permanent council said after an extraordinary session that Togo's representatives would be excluded from the organisation, which acts as a network similar to Britain's Commonwealth.

Faure Gnassingbe was on Monday sworn in as Togo's new president to replace his father, who maintained an iron grip on the small west African country after gaining power in a coup 38 years ago.

The new leader was rushed into the office by the army over the weekend and Togo's parliament, dominated by the ruling party, equally swiftly moved to change rules making the normal successor the speaker of parliament.

The succession has caused an international outcry and west African leaders were meeting Wednesday at a summit in Niger to decide what to do about it. The African Union called it a military coup.

The OIF said the only exceptions to Togo's suspension would be for "programmes directly benefiting the civilian population and those who are working towards re-establishing democracy", in a statement.

The organisation said it "condemns in the strongest way the coup d'etat carried out by the Togolese armed forces and the repeated violations of all the constitutional dispositions in force to the utter disdain of the principles of the rule of law."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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