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POLITICS: ECOWAS Takes A Stand For Democracy In Africa

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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 03:56 PM
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Following the recent death of Togo's longest serving leader, that nation's parliament has hastily replaced the Parliamentary Speaker and altered the nation's constitution. Under the original constitution, Parliamentary Speaker Fambare Ouattara was to become "caretaker" for up to 2 months pending elections. Instead the Parliament has attempted to place the deceased leader's son Faure Gnassingbe in power for the rest of his father's term, until 2008. Faced with the prospect of sanctions from the Economic Community Of West African States, Togo has gone back on its refusal to accept an ECOWAS delegation and has entered into talks aimed at restoring the original constitution.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
West African diplomats have arrived in Togo for talks on the day their ultimatum to authorities there expires.

The regional body Ecowas has threatened Togo with sanctions if it does not revert to its original constitution. It was changed last week after the death of President Gnassingbe Eyadema to allow his son to succeed him.

African leaders have described the move as a coup and since the weekend four people have been killed in opposition protests in the capital, Lome.


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It really is promising to see African states organizing and trying to bring peace to that continent. As many of my stories have probably made clear, I disapprove of the West's handling of Africa. I strongly applaud the initiative some nations there are now taking to do for themselves what others refuse to help them with. Hopefully they will succeed in stopping this coup and be able to continue spreading their influence and ability to intervene in regional crisis.
This is not ECOWAS' first intervention, nor is it a sign that they are by any means perfect. ECOWAS, especially Nigeria, fielded a force to end the civil war in Liberia in 2003, however another member, Cote d'ivoire, hosted Charles Taylor when he initiated his takeover of Liberia. They're doing some good, but they've got a long way to go.






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