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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Calm returns after Togo poll riot
Residents of the Togolese capital Lome clean up the streets under the supervision of a soldier
Residents have been forced to help with the clean up of the capital
Residents of Togo's capital, Lome, are clearing up after violence erupted following Sunday's disputed elections.

Soldiers beat people to make them take down barricades and clean the streets in opposition strongholds, correspondents say.

At least 20 people were killed as opposition supporters went on the rampage, saying the polls were rigged.

Ruling party candidate and son of the former leader, Faure Gnassingbe, officially won with 60% of the vote.

His main rival Emmanuel Bob Akitani got 38%, the electoral commission said but he declared himself president, saying there had been massive fraud.


Election observers from West African regional body Ecowas accepted that there had been problems but said the results had generally reflected the will of the people.

Women in the Togolese capital Lome clean up the streets
[The security forces] smashed in the door. They told us to get out and pick up the stones
Lome resident

Ecowas condemned Mr Akitani's declaration and called for a national unity government to prevent further violence.

According to the BBC's Mark Dummett in Lome, security was tightened overnight and soldiers are patrolling the city in jeeps mounted with heavy machine guns.

They began a massive clear-up operation with bulldozers clear the remnants of burning roadblocks.

"[The security forces] smashed in the door. They told us to get out and pick up the stones," Lome resident Assou told Reuters news agency, adding one of soldiers shouted: "Work, work!"


Meanwhile, communication remains difficult as telephone networks are not working and most private radio stations were taken off the air on Wednesday.

Ruling party supporter in Togo
Faure Gnassingbe: 1.4m votes (60%)
Emmanuel Bob Akitani: 841,000 (38%)
Turnout: 64%
Source: Electoral Commission (Provisional results)

Some 600 people are reported to have fled into Benin from southern Togo, following clashes in the opposition town of Aneho.

Mr Atikani's coalition intends to appeal to Togo's constitutional court - which has still to confirm the result of the election - saying he won majorities in all the most populous regions of the country.

His support is strongest in the south, including Lome, while Mr Faure's power base is in the north.

Mr Faure denied vote-rigging and urged veteran opposition UFC leader Gilchrist Olympio to join a government of national unity.

Earlier, Mr Olympio, who was ineligible to stand in the poll because he lives in exile following a 1992 assassination attempt, said his party would not serve as a minority partner in any unity government.

The army tried to install Mr Faure after his father's President Gnassingbe Eyadema's death, but pressure led him to step down and call an election.

President Eyadema, led Togo for 38 years, had seized power in a coup from Mr Olympio's father, Sylvanus, in 1963.

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