Rawlings: Let’s respect peaceful protests in Togo
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Togolese government troops to approach the ongoing political protests for electoral reforms with measures that would not lead to a degeneration of the situation.
He says while a degeneration of the sustained protests into a civil war as described by some commentators bode no good, it raises great concern as the death toll and the number of people injured keeps increasing.
A statement issued by his office Sunday said in the event of a civil conflict, unarmed civilians are those whose blood will be shed the most.
“The recent threats of civil war come as no surprise. However, the intimidating posture of such comments shows clearly how pertinent the need to prevent an escalation beyond this point. Civil war can never bring any gains to the people or government.
“There must be a concise effort to point to how peacefully the people of Togo have declared and agitated for their political right. We must respect their process of getting their cause heard especially as it is characterized by non-violence.”
Former President Rawlings said the protestors could have adopted a violent behaviour by now yet they have kept it civil all this while and as such the government troops must equally adopt strides to ensure there is no regression into civil explosion.
Togolese opposition forces have taken to protests over the past weeks demanding electoral reforms that will guarantee limits to presidential terms as well as an end to the 50-year rule of the Gnassingbe family.
A couple of deaths and injuries have resulted, while about 15 demonstrators have been jailed as government troops seek to forcefully put down the running protests.
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