24/08/2017

Togo | Gnassingbé to-go

Blog / By Evelyn Groenink
Photo: source twitter. Author unknown. Photo: source twitter. Author unknown.

An uprising against a dictator. Angry people in the streets. Seven protestors shot dead by soldiers. Then, suddenly, amid the outrage and hurt, the same people in the streets use focus, restraint, and human dignity to strike back. They find a group of soldiers, surround them, and capture seven -the same number as protestors killed. They keep the group ‘arrested’ for a while. Then let them go. Watch the video here.

Letting go is what the same protesting people are doing with the Gnassingbé dynasty, a family -first father, then son- that has ruled the West African country since 1967, a mere seven years after independence from colonial rule. The Gnassingbés, well versed as they are in rhetoric about being there ‘for the people,’ in reality simply enjoy wealth and privilege at the expense of a very poor majority. The phosphate minerals, the country’s primary wealth, may have been nationalized in 1974 and decreed‘economic liberation,’by papa Gnassingbé , but as often happens, the sales of the minerals have mainly benefited the Gnassingbé dynasty. The miners and the citizenry, not so much.

Spoiler alert: the African Investigative Publishing Collective is currently investigating phosphates plunder by Togo’s political elite as part of their African Oligarchs transnational investigation. To be released soon. We’ll keep you posted.