Brutal repression of local protest against mining in Togo

Peaceful Assembly

In the past few months, one protest in Togo turned violent and another was blocked by Togolese security forces. On 22nd August, members of the Abobo-Zéglé community to the north east of the capital Lomé staged a protest against the activities of a new phosphate mining company on their land. An influential village figure told journalists:

'They are dislodging us from our ancestral village in the name of phosphate mining. But they have not provided the necessary facilities at the new site.'

Although their demonstration was peaceful, it was violently disrupted by security forces who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. In the ensuing chaos, several protesters were injured in clashes with authorities and trampled on as protesters fled. 

In a separate incident, on 17th September in the city of Dapaong, a meeting of youth from the National Alliance for Change (ANC) was disrupted by police. Upon instructions from the regional minister, police blocked access to the meeting venue for a few hours before finally allowing participants to hold the meeting.