26 Togolese nationals are to appear in court on Monday in Ghana’s capital Accra after police officers arrested them for staging an unlawful protest over the weekend to demand for the resignation of their President, Faure Gnassingbe.
The protesters many of whom were from the opposition political party in Togo were hoping to grab the attention of political leaders in Ghana to put pressure on Mr. Gnassingbe to go.
The demonstration was foiled by police officials after the protesters converged at a location in Accra to demonstrate over the political crisis.
A police spokesperson in Ghana, Afia Tenge told local media, “The police believe that assembly contravene public order act and so they were arrested.”
She further said that after the protesters refused to disperse and stop the protest, “Two of their leaders and a number of them were arrested. We have about 26 of them and we are waiting for Monday to put these persons before the law court.”
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR has said that over 500 Togolese have fled violence to Ghana following a crackdown by Togo’s government in response to protests demanding the exit of President Gnassingbe.
On Friday, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said in a statement that “So far, 513 asylum seekers have been registered by the Ghanaian authorities”.
Those fleeing have entered Ghana’s towns of Chereponi, Zabzugu and Bunkpurugu-Yunyuo. These communities share border with Togo at the north of Ghana.
“Togolese seeking safety, including women and children, told UNHCR staff they had fled on foot, walking from their homes in Togo’s Mango region, bordering Ghana,” Baloch said.
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.