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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 13:20 GMT
Togo faces rising world pressure
Faure Gnassingbe
Faure insists he is staying in the presidential seat until elections
International pressure is mounting on Togo's new military-installed ruler, Faure Gnassingbe, to stand down.

The European Union and the US have backed a decision by West African states to impose sanctions on Togo unless President Faure resigns.

The regional grouping, Ecowas, said a promise by Mr Faure to hold elections within 60 days was not enough.

But Togo's authorities have reaffirmed that he is needed on preserve law and order until the poll is held.

The new leader was installed after the death on 5 February of his father, President Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled Togo for 38 years.

I exhort them to restore constitutional order without delay
Louis Michel
EU Development Commissioner

The move drew immediate condemnation from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the African Union, as well the US and EU.

Mr Faure - who originally said he would serve his father's full term until 2008 - later promised to hold presidential elections in the next two months.

But this was rejected as insufficient by Ecowas on Saturday.

Revised ties

The group imposed sanctions, including a travel ban on Togolese leaders and an arms embargo.

We prefer to have sanctions and be in peace and stability rather than descending towards civil war
Kokou Tozoun
Togolese foreign minister

On Sunday the EU said Mr Faure and his supporters were responsible for the country's growing isolation.

"I exhort them to restore constitutional order without delay," said EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel said.

Washington also endorsed Ecowas' tough stance.

"The United States has ended all military assistance to Togo," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

"We are reviewing all aspects of our relationship," he added.

Rival rallies

Under the original constitution - which was amended to legitimise Mr Faure's installation - the parliamentary speaker should hold the presidency pending the election.

But the authorities say Mr Faure was installed to prevent a dangerous power vacuum.
Opposition march in Lome, 29 February 2005
The opposition wants the new leader to step down immediately

Togolese Foreign Minister Kokou Tozoun told Reuters new agency: "Can we be without a president for 60 days."

He added: "We prefer to have sanctions and be in peace and stability rather than descending towards civil war."

On Saturday, opponents and supporters of the new leader held rival demonstrations. Both passed off peacefully.

A week earlier, at least three people were killed when police opened fire during a protest.

The opposition wants Mr Faure to stand down immediately.

One of the main opposition parties has accused France - the former colonial power - of failing to use its influence to resolve the crisis.




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Details of the sanctions being imposed on Togo



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