The police in Accra have arrested 26 Togolese nationals for planning to stage an unlawful demonstration over the political situation in their country.
The suspects including two leaders were part some 300 nationals from Ghana’s immediate eastern neigbour, who had converged in Accra early Saturday to protest over the political tension in Togo.
There are fears the situation in the former French colony could degenerate into a full-blown civil war following bloody clashes between armed security forces and civilians protesting the half a century rule by the Gnassingbe dynasty.
Since the first protests on August 18, eight people have been killed, including a 10-year-old child, three teenagers and two soldiers, while there have been about 100 injured.
Amnesty International said at least 28 people out of more than 100 arrested have been convicted in connection with the protests.
Togo’s opposition has repeatedly called for a limit of two, five-year terms for the president and the resignation of Faure Gnassingbe.
But the Head of Operations at the Accra Regional Police Command, Superintendent Kwasi Ofori told Joy News the demonstrators did not inform the police about their intended demonstrations.
“About 300 Togolese nationals gathered without notice to the police of their intention to embark on a public demonstration. In view of this the Regional Police Command…demobilised their effort, we disengaged them from the demonstration and we have arrested some leaders and those involved in the demonstration,” Supt. Ofori explained.
The Operations Head said although police will caution the demonstrators they will also face prosecution because “They cannot violate the laws of Ghana to engage in things that have nothing to do with our country.”
“We are not interested in the kind of demonstration that goes on either for or against; all that we want is our laws should be respected. They need to abide by the laws of this country.”