Togo militia stops protest against president

AP News
Posted: Sep 17, 2012 11:41 AM
Togo militia stops protest against president

LOME, Togo (AP) — A militia of some 500 men loyal to President Faure Gnassingbe prevented a march by opposition groups over the weekend.

Bare-chested militia men armed with batons, clubs , cutlasses and hoes blocked the path of civil rights groups and opposition political parties allies known as 'Let's Save Togo,' preventing them from demonstrating against recent electoral reforms announced by the government.

Tension was rife when the militia men blocked the streets of Lome's Adewui neighborhood where thousands of opposition marchers had planned to start their demonstration.

Zeus Atta-Messan Ajavon, leader of 'Let's Save Togo,' accused Togo's security forces of not protecting the rights of the opposition.

But Togo's Interior Minister Gilbert Bawara denied the allegations saying that "the opposition demos were authorized by the government."