[QODLink]
Archive
Togo suspended from AU

The African Union has decided to suspend the Togolese government from all AU activities.

Last Modified: 25 Feb 2005 18:03 GMT
Gnassingbe took power on 5 February after his father's death

The African Union has decided to suspend the Togolese government from all AU activities.

The body's Peace and Security Council voted to suspend Togo on Friday and urged the 53-member AU "to take all measures to restore constitutional order to Togo as soon as possible", Council Commissioner Said Djinnit said.

The transfer of power to Faure Gnassingbe by Togo's army on 5 February has been roundly condemned by African leaders.

The 15-member council, modelled on the UN Security Council, was meeting at ambassadorial level amid growing calls for Gnassingbe to vacate the leadership office.

Togo, which is a member of the body but was suspended after Gnassingbe took power, was not represented at the meeting and the Togolese ambassador to the African Union, Koffi Esaw.

He said he had been asked to leave the chamber.

'We are suspended'

"They asked me to leave the room because we are suspended but the president told me they might possibly need me during the debate," he said.

The African Union has urged Togo
to restore constitional order

AU commissioner Alpha Oumar Konare was the first to blast the military power play a "coup d'etat" and has recommended that the ECOWAS sanctions be extended to include the entire continent.

But with international pressure ratcheting up, diplomats said support for sanctions was waning.

"There is fear among some member states that if the AU imposes sanctions it will be more difficult for Faure Gnassingbe to reverse the situation and step down," one AU diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Unsuccessful defusing attempt

The 39-year-old Gnassingbe has tried to defuse the mounting pressure by agreeing to call presidential elections within 60 days but insists on remaining in office until then, a stance that has done little to appease his critics.

In addition to the uproar in Africa, the European Union has threatened to slap unspecified "measures" on Togo, joining the United States in backing AU and ECOWAS efforts to restore constitutional rule and democracy.

On Thursday, Gnassingbe sought counsel from veteran African leaders in Gabon and Libya and suggested that he was considering whether to heed the calls to step down before contesting the election.

Gnassingbe pledged to take "important steps" to resolve the crisis beginning on Friday, Libya's JANA news agency reported.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list