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West African leaders dial down on Togo mission

Leaders from the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, have climbed down on their initial announcement that they were visiting Togo “due to the seriousness of the controversial constitutional reforms that the government planned to introduce”.

Those words were part of a press release that was published on X on Monday then deleted on Tuesday.

It was replaced by a new press release, that instead called it a simple “information mission” and insisted that Ecowas delegates would “not engage in any other process as indicated in a previous press release, which has been withdrawn”.

The opposition in Togo has denounced a proposed new constitution as a power grab, intended to extend the rule of President Faure Gnassingbé.

The reforms would see the West African country move from a presidential to a parliamentary system. But the opposition says they are a ruse to keep Mr Gnassingbé – already in his fourth term – in power.

Ecowas, meanwhile, has been under considerable pressure after recent diplomatic efforts to steer the region’s burgeoning military juntas back to democracy have failed.

Source: BBC

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