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Togo: Independence Celebrations Tarnished By Coronavirus



Togo celebrated Monday the 60th anniversary of its independence in sobriety, the demonstrations having been tarnished by the measures due to the coronavirus which has so far caused 6

The Minister of Territorial Administration, Payadowa Boukpessi explained in a press release that the grand traditional military and civil parade was cancelled, a first in the history of this West African country, due to the “state of emergency” declared since April 1.

Parades and other celebrations were also cancelled in all the prefectures of the country.

A small arms-taking ceremony took place in the courtyard of the presidential palace in the presence of Head of State Faure Gnassingbé and lasted only 5 minutes: review, lifting of colours and national anthem.

The representatives of the institutions of the Togolese Republic, the ministers, the office of the National Assembly, the chief of staff of the armed forces were present in particular.

Sunday evening, Faure Gnassingbé rekindled the flame of independence “in strict compliance with the barrier measures taken by the government”, according to the minister’s press release.

“In these difficult times which do not allow our fellow citizens to celebrate and pay homage to this long journey that we have known, I would like on our behalf to all say with pride that we will come to the end of this pandemic”, wrote the head of state on his Twitter account.

“Courage and determination”

“May courage and determination give us the strength to continue building our nation,” he added.

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, a curfew has been in place since April 2 in Lomé – between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. – extended to the prefecture of Tchaoudjou from April 8.

A special anti-pandemic unit made up of 5,000 defence and security agents is mobilized to enforce the restrictions imposed by the authorities.

The government has also taken measures to support consumption, production and job protection to the tune of 400 billion CFA francs (about 610 million euros).

Togo counted around 100 official cases of infected people and 6 deaths linked to Covid-19 disease on Monday.