Agenzia Fides reports from Lomé (4 May 2017) the following statement from the Bishops of Togo:
“The frustration of Togolese civil society is a bomb ready to explode… Let us recognize that behind the appearance of peace and tranquility, Togo is living a very negative moment: its sons and daughters are increasingly disappointed: they no longer know what path to take to get out of the present situation and how to reach peace: their future seems to be blocked”.
The Togolese Republic, one of the smallest countries in Africa with an estimated population of 7.5 million, is served by SMA missionaries from France, Italy, Poland and several African countries. There has been an SMA presence in the former French colony for over a century.
The country is currently engaged in a national debate about constitutional reforms. It has not yet transitioned to democracy and the National Conference of Bishops are strongly opposed to an extension of the presidential mandate. This would allow the current president, Faure Gnassingbé, who succeeded his father in 2005, to continue in office unopposed. Prior to the death of Gnassingbé Eyadema, the former president held office for 38 years.
The Bishops have warned that there is deepening frustration, especially amongst the young, especially with no clear change in view. The Bishops’ have accused the State of being incapable of offering real social justice by redistributing the wealth of the Country.
“The root of Togolese evil… is … the inversion of public function,” they have stated.
‘Instead of protecting the poor,’ Agenzia Fides reports, ‘the State favours the rich who do nothing but increase their wealth.’
The Episcopal Conference is encouraging politicians not to miss the opportunity to adopt the expected reforms of the population, especially the growing demands for a limitation on the presidential mandate.
You may read the full Agenzia Fides article here.
For further information on the SMA presence in Togo, you may click here.