By Frank Amponsah
The Ghanaian President, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the Togolese government and the coalition of opposition parties to table their major concerns about the political crisis in their country by agreeing on a common concern which will guide their mediation effort going forward.
President Akufo-Addo and his Guinean counterpart, President Alpha Conde have thrown the challenge to the factions in Togo when addressing a plenary session of both parties at the Presidential Auditorium of the Hotel 2 Fevrier in the Togolese capital, Lome.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that three months since the last meeting of the parties, things seem to have gotten worse than it was before the mediation efforts begun.
This situation made the ECOWAS mediation team to take the decision to chat a path that has been proposed.
He said: “We met with the understanding that the two sides will go and reflect and see whether we can make progress. Some progress have been made; first of all in attempting to meet the demands of the position in the release of political prisoners; for measures on the part of government that will give reassurance to the opposition that normal political life will be undertaken and on the part of opposition also to consider the starts from the future of the dialogue.”
Akufo-Addo said after they had left that meeting, several incidents took place which seemed to have taken them backwards from the progress they have made.
According to him, with the consent of Alpha Conde, they have decided to use the current opportunity to get a formal statement of the situation from both sides, which will form the basis of future deliberations in finding a common platform for the movement ahead.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has left Ghana on Tuesday for Lome in Togo to facilitate a dialogue aimed at resolving the ongoing political crisis there.
The Ghanaian President together with Alpha Conde of Guinea have been mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to engage the feuding parties in Togo.
Togo President, Faure Gnassingbè who is the new chair of ECOWAS, has witnessed a series of protests by opposition parties who are calling for a return to the country’s constitution, which imposes limits on presidential terms.
In February this year, President Akufo-Addo facilitated a meeting together with other African leaders aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.
It is on record that after that meeting, Togolese government and the Coalition of 14 Opposition political parties agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.
At the plenary session, both sides of the political divide in Togo have made their respective statements as to the current situation in the country which according to President Nana Akufo-Addo will guide the path in finding suitable solutions to the Togolese impasse.