Togolese Government Shuts Down Internet As Protests Against President Escalate

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Togolese Government

Internet access in Togo has been severly restricted by the Togolese Government as opposition supporters gather to protest against the rule of Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé.

According to the country’s citizens, social media platforms have been hard to access and internet speeds have been very slow. The protesters have been against a proposal by the government to bring about a two-term presidential limit, as they believe it’s a ploy to extend the president’s rule.

The protesters want the sitting president, Mr Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema to step down. His father ruled the West African nation for 38 years.

A spokesperson for the government, Gilbert Bawara told a local radio station that there was an ongoing internet restriction, “Even in most developed countries, authorities take control of telecommunications in some cases,” he said.

According to reports, mobile internet had been shut down in the capital, Lomé, but some wi-fi networks are still working. The protests have been organised by a coalition of opposition parties and civil society organisations.

Togolese journalist Blamé Ekoué reports that protesters have said that they will not relent and have asked for the release of some of their members who were arrested, charged and sentenced, after similar protests last week. Police clashed with opposition supporters who were chanting “50 years is too long”.

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