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Two killed protesting unconstitutional succession in Togo as talks get under way

[JURIST] At least two people were killed Saturday in Lome, the capital of Togo [US State Department backgrounder] as thousands protesting the unconstitutional succession of Faure Gnassingbe [BBC profile] to the country's presidency clashed with the Togolese riot police. The Togo government said no one could gain by the violence [government press statement in French]. Meanwhile a government delegation arrived in Niger, where it had been summoned to hear demands of other African leaders urging a return to constitutional rule. Togo's army had installed Faure following the sudden death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema [Wikipedia profile], Togo's dictatorial ruler for 38 years. Constitutional succession procedures were not followed, although the country's parliament amended the constitution [JURIST report; unamended Togolese constitution in French] in a special sitting on February 6 to allow Faure to remain in office without an electoral mandate. The UN, major African heads of state, and former colonial ruler France have all demanded that the tranfer of power be invalidated and proper elections be held. The Togo goverment has posted a news release on the visit of delegation on it website. Reuters has more.

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