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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 04:28 GMT 05:28 UK
No deal done in Togo crisis talks
Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe (centre) and his team at the talks in Abuja
Mr Gnassingbe (centre) claimed victory in the 24 April poll
Talks to resolve a crisis in Togo after last month's disputed presidential poll have ended without agreement.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo - who hosted the talks in Abuja - had urged the government and opposition to form a government of national unity.

But new Togo President Faure Gnassingbe and the opposition failed to agree on the terms for a power-sharing deal.

Some 31,000 people fled Togo amid bloody protests triggered by the opposition's claims of vote-rigging.

At least 30 people are believed to have died in the violence.

Mr Gnassingbe - whose father ruled Togo for 38 years - won about 60% of the vote in the 24 April poll, according to final results.

'Bland statement'

The one-day talks were organised by West Africa's regional grouping Ecowas, and the African Union chairman, Mr Obasanjo.

Map showing location of Togo, Benin and Ghana

It brought together Mr Gnassingbe and Togo's main opposition parties, as well as presidents of Gabon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger.

Nothing of any substance was agreed in the talks, which was reflected in the bland final statement, the BBC's Anna Borzello in Abuja reports.

"The heads of state urged the Togolese political class to demonstrate greater flexibility and to place national interest above personal and sectional considerations," the statement said.

The participants at the mini-summit also "called all Togo's political forces to desist from acts of violence, impunity and vandalism".

'Setback for opposition'

However, the exiled chairman of the main opposition Union of Forces for Change, Gilchrist Olympio, was unwilling to dismiss the process as an outright failure.

"We have not achieved our entry into a transitional government... but that doesn't mean this is the end of the road," Mr Olympio said.

But, in many ways the talks were a disappointment for the opposition, our correspondent says.

She says Africa's leaders at the summit clearly acknowledged Mr Gnassingbe as Togo's president and a senior Togolese government official said his legitimacy had not been questioned.

Ecowas observers had earlier pronounced that the controversial election met generally accepted standards.

Last week, the European Union parliament rejected the election results.

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