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In the face of autocracy the Togolese Civil League movement pushes for justice, accountability and democracy

The political situation in Togo is dire. Faure Gnassingbe is pushing for amendments to the constitution that would consolidate his power and allow him to rule indefinitely.



President Faure Gnassingbé at the launch of the National Development Plan (PND) in 2019. CC BY-SA 4.0

Dear colleagues,

I write to you today not just as an activist but as a voice crying out against the oppression and constitutional manipulation in my homeland of Togo. Our nation is currently under the grip of a dictator, Faure Gnassingbe, who is shamelessly attempting to perpetuate his regime through unconstitutional means.

Faure Gnassingbe seeks to rewrite the rules to suit his unquenchable thirst for power. We have seen the consequences of such actions elsewhere, where constitutional manipulation has led to military takeovers and further instability. Yet, the world remains passive when constitutions are distorted to serve the interests of a few. It seems that action is only taken when the military intervenes, while the erosion of democracy through constitutional means is met with indifference.

We recognize that Togo has not witnessed democracy since the military coup of 1963, when Eyadema Gnassingbe assassinated our first president, Sylvanus Olympio. However, the regime’s current course of action will not only tighten its hold on power but also cause political tensions to reach unprecedented heights. This could potentially lead to conflict, especially at a time when the entire region is grappling with various forms of political turmoil.


The situation in Togo is dire. Our dictator is pushing for amendments to the constitution that would consolidate his power and allow him to rule indefinitely. Under the guise of transitioning to a parliamentary system, he seeks to abolish presidential term limits and extend his own term from 5 to 7 years. This move is not about progress or democratic reform; it is a thinly veiled attempt to cling to power and continue his family’s dynastic rule.

Let me be clear: the Togolese people have suffered enough under the iron fist of the Gnassingbe dynasty. Faure Gnassingbe’s father, Eyadema Gnassingbe, ruled Togo for 38 years through fear, repression, and electoral fraud. Faure himself seized power in a violent coup in 2005, following in his father’s footsteps of oppression and disregard for human rights. Since then, he has stifled dissent, silenced critics, and rigged elections to maintain his grip on power.

The current parliament, stacked with cronies and relatives of the regime, serves as nothing more than a rubber stamp for Faure’s authoritarian agenda. The so-called elections were a farce, marred by fraud, and boycotted by the opposition. The will of the people has been trampled upon, and our voices have been silenced through reppression.

But we refuse to be silenced any longer. The Togolese Civil League movement stands firm in its demand for justice, accountability, and democracy in Togo. We call upon the international community to stand with us in solidarity against this tyranny. It is not enough to simply condemn; action is needed to hold the regime accountable for its crimes against the Togolese people.

Against the grain: Togo leader resists calls for democratic change. Cartoon: Donisen Donald

We urge governments, organizations, and individuals around the world to:

Denounce the unconstitutional actions of the regime in Togo.


Impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses and electoral fraud.

Support civil society and opposition groups in Togo in their fight for democracy and justice.

Pressure the regime to respect the rule of law and uphold the rights of all citizens.

Monitor the human rights situation in Togo closely and advocate for the release of political prisoners and the protection of activists and journalists.

Engage in public awareness campaigns to educate citizens worldwide about the situation in Togo and garner international support for the struggle for democracy.


We humbly implore you not to turn a blind eye while the people of Togo suffer under oppression and injustice. Your compassionate action is desperately needed at this critical moment. Together, with your invaluable support and solidarity, we can embark on a journey toward a brighter future for Togo.

Thank you for standing with us in this noble endeavor.

In solidarity,

Farida Nabourema
Director of the Togolese Civil League

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