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Akufo-Addo meets leaders of Togo opposition parties today over crisis

Some of the opposition leaders on their arrival in Accra Tuesday evening.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today host the leadership of Togo’s opposition parties at the Flagstaff House in Accra in another attempt to mediate and find lasting solution to the political crisis in the neigbouring francophone nation.

The 14-man delegation arrived in Accra Tuesday evening at the behest of President Akufo-Addo, who has since October 2017 been mediating between the Coalition of Opposition political parties and the Gnassingbe-led government.

READ: Akufo-Addo airlifts Togolese opposition leaders for talks in Accra

President Akufo-Addo in February 2018 brokered the release of 45 out of 92 political prisoners who were arrested by the Togo government during the peak of the crisis for allegedly playing various roles in a series of protests.

This was after a meeting held between the parties. The meeting, facilitated by the President of Nana Akufo-Addo, was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse that has rocked Togo since August 2017.

There has been political tension in Togo since August last year as the Coalition of Opposition Parties is demanding the resignation of President Gnassingbe in a bid to bring the Gnassingbe dynasty to an end.

“Tomorrow God willing, he [President Akufo-Addo] will be meeting with the leaders of the 14 opposition parties at the Flagstaff House,” Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin confirmed on TV3’s News360 on Tuesday night.

He explained that today’s forms part of Nana Akufo-Addo’s commitment to ensuring that there is political stability in Togo

The president, he said, has been facilitating talks between the leadership of the coalition of 14 opposition parties in Togo as well as the government of Gnassingbe.

“It is for the continuation of the dialogue process that the President has initiated. That we have some of the leaders of the coalition of the 14 opposition parties in the country at the moment to continue talks with the President,” Mr. Arhin said.

Beyond the release of the 45 political prisoners, President Akufo-Addo has managed to get the Coalition to suspend further protests or demonstrations until the end of the dialogue process.

“Everybody would want the country to return to being a peaceful stable country and as I said at the last meeting 45 out of 92 political prisoners who were being held were released as a sign of appeasement.

“I believe those two appeasement decision goes to show that both parties are determined to ensure that they would as much as possible try and find ways and means by which they will be able to find lasting solution to the crisis,” Mr. Arhin observed.

The director of Communications was optimistic something positive will come out of today’s meeting which will take place at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

“I believe that progress is being made and we are confident that at least hopefully and very soon we should reach a solution to this impasse”.

Though the meeting is expected to be for a day, he said that will largely be dependent on how it pans out, saying “We are just hopeful that tomorrow it should end….Whatever decisions that are reached, definitely will be put out”.

Lingering crisis

Nationwide protest rallies held on August 20, 2017 saw the death of two persons.

There were also reported clashes in cities across the country as tension reached high pitch in the opposition stronghold, Sokode.

On September 6, 2017 thousands of protestors marched through the streets of Togo’s capital, Lomé, causing authorities to shut down the internet in that country.

The situation caused scores of Togolese to flee the country.

In October 2017, President Akufo-Addo intervened by initiating talks with the political actors in that country in an attempt to ensure political stability for peace to prevail.

“The events that are taking place next door in Togo are disturbing for all of us and especially for you. …I know that anything that happens in Togo is a matter that’s very, very great concern [to you] and it is a concern to me and all the people of Ghana,” he told traditional leaders from the Aflao in the Volta Region on October 30, 2017.

READ: We shall welcome any mediation by Akufo-Addo – Togo opposition party

He indicated there was no way he could sit idle, adding the Togolese president “came to see me in Tamale 10 days ago for long discussions, I have been meeting other political activists and definitely, we are all talking to see how we can bring this crisis to a closure and bring stability and peace to Togo,”.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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