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

Ghana has dispatched a plane to Lome to airlift 14 opposition political actors in Togo to Accra for continued talks in a bid to find solution to the political crisis that has rocked the francophone country since August last year.

Credible sources in Togo confirmed exclusively to 3news.com on Tuesday afternoon that the opposition leaders had arrived at a Togolese airport waiting to board the flight to Accra.

They were scheduled to take off from Lome at 4:00pm

Among the delegation are Targone, Dr Kouessan (Santé du Peuple) Me Agboyibo (CAR), Nathaniel Olympio (Parti des Togolais), Jean Pierre Fabre (ANC), and Éric Dupys

The visit by the opposition leaders is at the behest of Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who has been leading the mediation in the lingering political crisis in Togo.

President Akufo-Addo and Nigeria’s President Alhaji Mahammadu Buhari, who is currently in Accra attending Ghana’s 61 years of independence, are expected to meet with the delegation at the State House in Accra Tuesday.

They will later in the night have a dinner,  our sources revealed.

Lingering crisis

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.

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.

The Coalition says they will take their demands to the international community

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

Editor’s note: We originally reported that 49 opposition leaders were to be airlifted from Lome to Accra. However, 3News sources have confirmed only 14 of the leaders were able to make it to Accra. The story has accordingly been edited to reflect the new information.

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