Government officials in Togo have confirmed the death of four people after opposition party protesters clashed with security officials on Wednesday.
The protesters have been agitating for months now calling for an end to the Gnassingbe dynasty which has lasted for 50 years.
Togo’s security minister Colonel Damehame Yark, told reporters that one person was shot dead and around sixty others arrested in the capital, Lome.
He said another three died of gunshot wounds in the second-biggest city, Sokode.
“These are too many deaths. We’d be wise to preserve the peace,” Yark said.
Protests have been banned by the government on weekdays but that directive is being defied by protesters who have been holding series of demonstrations.
There have been clashes with the protesters and security forces with many arrests effected.
Brigitte Adjamagbo who is one of the leaders of the opposition movement is quoted by Reuters as saying that “We deplore this toll and we say that backing down is out of the question. Despite what we have suffered, we will maintain our call for protests tomorrow,”
Faure Gnassingbe took over from his father Eyadema 12 years ago after he died while in power for 38 years. He has since won elections in 2005, 2010 and 2015 but got the two-term limit for presidents scrapped a year ago to allow him to further prolong his rule.