World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Comments on developments in Togo

11 February 2005

11 February, 2005



The World Council of Churches expresses its condolences to the family and people
of Togo following the demise of President Gnassingbe Eyadéma. The WCC,
in solidarity with the people of Togo, hereby affirms the call for the return to constitutional
sobriety in the country. We are deeply concerned about the way the
presidential succession has been manoeuvred which amounts to circumvention of
the constitution.

The Council affirms that in fulfilling their civic responsibility, the people of Togo
are called to be vigilant and resilient in demanding their rights. We encourage
the international community to accompany the people of Togo at this hour of crisis.
We caution the military leadership to respect the will of the people and ensure
a legitimate transition of power. The ecumenical community worldwide welcomes
the call by the African Union "on respect for the nation's constitution in the provision
of interim leadership for Togo that will lead to the democratic election of
a president of Togo in accordance with the constitution." It is a gospel imperative
for the churches in Togo to stand for what is just, noble, true and honourable
to safeguard the people's right to be governed according to the constitution without
manipulation.

The claim of the so-called "power vacuum" should not legitimize or justify the
creation of a dynasty in Togo. Constitutional provisions for legitimate transfer of
power in the nation must be respected. The dignity and choice of the people of
Togo must be upheld in order to ensure peace and stability in their country and
in the region. It is a great tragedy that, while the continent is progressing towards
the values of democracy and human dignity, the people of Togo are still being
subjected to misrule and exploitation.

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