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Sanctions Against Togo Lifted

The World

February 27, 2005|From Associated Press

LOME, Togo — West African leaders lifted sanctions against Togo after its military-installed president stepped down, but the African Union warned the government Saturday that it must ensure that upcoming presidential elections are fair.

The presidents of Niger, Benin, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria are scheduled to meet Monday in Lome, Togo's capital, to discuss the April election and ways to strengthen democracy in the country, the Economic Community of West African States said Saturday.

President Faure Gnassingbe, 39, announced his resignation late Friday. He had been installed by the military Feb. 5 after his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, died in office.

Gnassingbe had been under growing pressure from the United States, the United Nations and West African leaders to resign. He promised that the election, in which he will run, would "guarantee transparency and offer an equal chance to all the other candidates."

Parliament later met in a special session and named Deputy Speaker Bonfoh Abbass interim president.

The military's appointment of Gnassingbe and the retroactive amendment of the constitution to make the move technically legal caused outrage.

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