Togo

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Overview

Togo was originally established by Ewe people who migrated from the Niger River Valley. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was ruled by the Portuguese. It became known as the Slave Coast for its extensive role in the West African slave trade. In the 1800s, Germany took control of Togo, ruling until 1914, when French and British forces invaded. France and Britain jointly administered Togo as a UN trust territory after World War II, but in April 1960, Togo severed ties with France and became fully independent. Togo’s first president, Sylvanus Olympio, was assassinated in 1963. For the next several decades, Togo went back and forth between a multi-party system and complete military dictatorship. Numerous coups gave rise to violence that displaced more than 300,000 Togolese to Benin and Ghana.

 
Clashes between students and the government in the 1990s resulted in further violence. With government parties winning all or most of the seats, elections were widely perceived to be corrupt. Elected in 1967 and despite numerous treaties and reconciliation commissions, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma continued to hold onto power until his death in 2005. Although the military tried to install his son, Faure Gnassingbé, as president shortly thereafter, pressure from the international community forced him to step down. Subsequent elections were also marred by violence and irregularities, leaving Gnassingbé the winner and Edem Kodjo as prime minister. In 2006, Gnassingbé signed the Global Political Agreement that was supposed to help bring an end to the political crisis in Togo.
 
Recent controversies involving the United States include Togo’s deportation of a Colombian drug lord to the US, who had been wanted on trafficking charges.
 
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: On the southern coast of West Africa, Togo is bounded on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Benin, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the west by Ghana. This narrow strip of ground rises from the gulf to a plateau, which leads to the Atakora Mountains in the middle of the country. To the north are the Oti river valley and gently rolling grasslands.

 
Population: 6.8 million
 
Religions: Ethnoreligious 33%, Catholic 28%, Sunni Muslim 14%, Protestant 10%, Other Christian 10%, Baha’i 0.5%.
 
Ethnic Groups: African Tribes (Ewe, Mina, and Kabre are the largest) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%.
 
Languages: Ewe 15.4% (official), Kabiyé (official) 12.5%, Gbe language cluster (Maxi, Waci, Western Xwla) 7.4%, Gen 3.6%, Tem 3.6%, Moba 3.4%, Aja 2.7%, Nawdm 2.6%, French (official) 0.001%. There are 39 living languages in Togo.
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History

The Ewes, who moved into the area from the Niger River Valley between the 12th and 14th centuries, originally founded Togo. Two hundred years later, Portuguese explorers and traders visited the coast of Togo, which quickly became a major center for the slave trade and known as the “Slave Coast.” The trade continued for 200 years, until slavery died out in the US and other countries.

 
In 1884, a treaty was signed at Togoville between the locals and Germany that declared the region a protectorate. Gradually, Germany extended its control inland until it occupied the entire country. Togoland was Germany’s only self-supporting colony. In 1914, Togoland was invaded by French and British forces, and eventually fell to them. After the war, Togoland became a League of Nations mandate divided between France and Great Britain.
 
After World War II, the country became a UN trust territory administered by the United Kingdom and France. Western Togo was administered as part of the British Gold Coast. In 1957, residents of British Togoland voted to become part of the Gold Coast as the independent nation of Ghana.
 
In 1955, French Togo became an autonomous republic within the French union, with UN trustee status. In 1956, a new constitution was adopted by referendum. Later that year, Nicolas Grunitzky became prime minister of the Republic of Togo. But due to irregularities, an unsupervised general election claimed Sylvanus Olympio as the winner.
 
On April 27, 1960, Togo severed ties with France, shed its UN trusteeship status, and became fully independent. Olympio served as president. In 1961, Togo adopted its first constitution as an independent nation, and Olympio’s party won 90% of the vote and all 51 National Assembly seats. Olympio became Togo’s first elected president.
 
He dissolved opposition parties in January 1962, ostensibly because of plots against the government. Many opposition leaders fled to escape arrest. On January 13, 1963, Olympio was assassinated in an uprising of army non-commissioned officers. Grunitzky returned from exile two days later to head a provisional government with the title of prime minister.
 
In May 1963, Togo adopted a new constitution that restored the multi-party system. Grunitzky was elected president, and Antoine Meatchi as vice president. Nine days later, President Grunitzky formed a government in which all parties were represented.
 
But over the next few years, Grunitzky’s government became unstable. He was able to thwart a coup on November 21, 1966, but when he tried to lessen his reliance on the army, Lt. Col. Étienne Eyadéma (later known as Gen. Gnassingbé Eyadéma) ousted him in a bloodless coup on January 13, 1967. Immediately thereafter, all political parties were banned, and the constitution was suspended. A committee of national reconciliation ruled the country until April 14, when Eyadema became president.
 
In late 1969, a single national political party, the Rally of the Togolese People (Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais, or RPT), was created, and Eyadéma was elected party president on November 29, 1969. In 1972, a national referendum, in which Eyadéma ran unopposed, confirmed his role.
 
In late 1979, Eyadéma declared a third republic and vowed to help the country transition to greater civilian rule. He easily won the presidential elections later that year, and a new constitution provided for a national assembly to serve primarily as a consulting body.
 
On September 23, 1986, a group of some 70 armed Togolese dissidents crossed into Lomé from Ghana in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Eyadéma government. Eyadéma was reelected to a third consecutive seven-year term in December of that year.
 
On October 5, 1990, clashes between students and government forces sparked riots in Lomé. In April 1991, the government began negotiations with newly formed opposition groups and agreed to a general amnesty that permitted exiled political opponents to return to Togo. Finally, the government signed an agreement with the opposition to hold a national forum on June 12, 1991.
 
Opponents of President Eyadéma dominated the forum. It opened in July 1991, and proceeded to draft an interim constitution calling for a one-year transitional regime to establish free elections for a new government. The conference selected Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, a lawyer and human rights group leader, as transitional prime minister but kept President Eyadéma as chief of state for the transition, although with limited powers.
 
Over the next three years, the two groups battled for supremacy over the government, and finally Eyadéma gained the upper hand. In November 1991, the High Council of the Republic voted to dissolve the president’s political party, the RPT. On December 3, the army attacked the prime minister’s office, capturing him.
 
Koffigoh then formed a second transition government in January 1992 with substantial participation by ministers from the president’s party. Opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio, son of the slain president Sylvanus Olympio, was ambushed and seriously wounded by soldiers on May 5, 1992.
 
In September 1992, the public overwhelmingly approved the text of a new, democratic constitution, formally initiating Togo’s fourth republic. But the democratic process was set back when certain members of the army held the interim legislature hostage for 24 hours. In retaliation, opposition political parties and labor unions declared a general strike intended to force President Eyadéma to agree to satisfactory conditions for elections. This shut down Lomé for months, and resulted in severe damage to the economy.
 
In January 1993, Eyadéma reappointed Koffigoh as prime minister under Eyadéma’s authority. This set off public demonstrations, and, on January 25, members of the security forces fired on peaceful demonstrators, killing at least 19. More violence followed, and 300,000 Togolese fled the country for Benin, Ghana or the country’s interior.
 
On March 25, 1993, armed Togolese dissident commandos based in Ghana attacked Lomé’s main military camp and tried unsuccessfully to kill President Eyadéma. This was augmented by a general strike, which led to further negotiations with the opposition in early 1993. After four rounds of talks, the Ouagadougou agreement was signed on July 11. But Eyadéma remained in power, winning the subsequent elections by a substantial margin.
 
A new commando attack was launched in January 1994. President Eyadéma was unhurt, and the attack and subsequent reaction by the Togolese armed forces resulted in hundreds of deaths, mostly civilian. February elections went ahead as planned, and opposition parties won a narrow majority in the National Assembly. Edem Kodjo, of Togolese Union for Democracy (UTD), was chosen by Eyadéma to be prime minister. The Action Committee for Renewal (Comité d'Action pour la Renouveau, or CAR) party refused to join Kodjo’s government.
 
However, Kodjo moved on, stressing the importance of economic recovery, building democratic institutions and the rule of law. By early 1995, the government had made some progress, ending the stalemate with CAR and reshuffling staff members.
 
In the June 1998 presidential election, the government prevented citizens from effectively exercising the right to vote. The Interior Ministry declared Eyadéma the winner with 52% of the vote, though serious irregularities in the government’s conduct of the election strongly favored the incumbent. The military was used to intimidate voters and harass opposition groups.
 
The second multi-party legislative elections of Eyadéma’s 33-year rule were held on March 21, 1999. However, the opposition boycotted the election, in which the ruling party won 79 of the 81 seats in the National Assembly. Significant fraud marred the election’s outcome.
 
In June 1999, the RPT and opposition parties met in Paris to agree on security measures in Lomé. In July, all sides signed the Lomé Framework Agreement, which included a promise by President Eyadéma that he would respect the constitution and not seek another term as president. The president also agreed to dissolve the National Assembly in March and hold new legislative elections, which would be supervised by an independent national election commission. But the March 2000 date passed without action from the president. New legislative elections were rescheduled to October 2001, but were delayed again, until March 2002.
 
In May 2002, the government scrapped the independent national election commission, blaming the opposition for its inability to function. Because opposition parties boycotted the October elections, the government’s party won the majority of seats. In December 2002, Eyadéma’s government used this rubber-stamp parliament to amend Togo’s constitution, allowing him to run for an unlimited number of terms. Another amendment stated that candidates must reside in the country for at least 12 months before an election, which barred popular Union of Forces for Change (Union des Forces du Changement, or UFC) candidate, Gilchrist Olympio, who had been in exile since 1992. The presidential election was held June 1, 2003, and Eyadéma was re-elected with 57% of the votes.
 
On April 14, 2004, the government signed an agreement with the European Union that included 22 commitments Togo must honor as a precondition for resumption of EU aid. Two of these were ongoing dialogue between the government and opposition parties, and free and democratic elections. 
 
On February 5, 2005, Eyadéma died. The military swore Faure Gnassingbé (Eyadéma’s son) as president. Immediate condemnation by African leaders followed by sanctions of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. Faure Gnassingbé stepped down on February 25.
 
Abass Bonfoh, National Assembly vice president, was selected to serve as speaker of the National Assembly and therefore simultaneously became interim president. Gnassingbé, however, retained real power, as he continued to use the offices of the president while the interim president operated from the National Assembly.
 
Elections held in 2005 were marred by violence and accusations of vote tampering. Tens of thousands of Togolese fled to Benin and Ghana to escape fighting. Gnassingbé was pronounced the winner and was pressed by the international community to form a government of national unity, including key opposition figures.
 
Gnassingbé failed to reach an agreement with the opposition, and instead named Edem Kodjo as prime minister. Kodjo in turn staffed the cabinet with RPT members, and did not include anyone from opposition parties.
 
In 2006, Gnassingbé and members of the opposition signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA), bringing an end to the political crisis triggered by Eyadéma’s death. This agreement provided for a transitional unity government that would prepare for legislative elections.
 
CAR[D1]  opposition party leader and human rights lawyer Yawovi Agboyibo was appointed prime minister of the transitional government in September 2006. Leopold Gnininvi, president of the Democratic Convention of African Peoples (Convention démocratique des peuples africains, or CDPA) party, was appointed minister of state for mines and energy. The third opposition party, UFC, headed by Gilchrist Olympio, declined to join the government, but agreed to participate in the national electoral commission and the National Dialogue follow-up committee, chaired by Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré.
 
Legislative elections were held on October 14, 2007, and all opposition parties took part. The RPT won a majority, and UFC and CAR also won several seats. On December 3, 2007, President Gnassingbé appointed Komlan Mally as prime minister. He named the rest of his cabinet on December 13, 2007 from the RPT and a number of lesser parties. The number of ministries was reduced substantially, down to 22 from 35. The other two parties elected to the National Assembly, the UFC and CAR, were not represented in the cabinet.
 
On September 5, 2008, Prime Minister Mally submitted his resignation to Gnassingbé, who named Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, formerly of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to the position two days later. The rest of the cabinet was named on September 16, 2008 and was composed of members of the RPT, the CDPA, the Patriotic Pan-African Convergence (Convergence patriotique panafricaine, or CPP), and civil society. The number of ministers rose from 22 to 26, plus two secretaries of state.
 
From February 16 to March 2, 2010, campaigning for the presidential elections went fairly smoothly as the government took extra measures to ensure that the violence from the 2005 elections was not repeated. The elections were monitored by the African Union, European Union, ECOWAS, Francophone countries, and Togolese and foreign NGOs.
 
The election was held on March 4, 2010, and resulted in the election of incumbent President Gnassingbé with 61 percent of the vote, while his opponent[D2] , Jean-Pierre Fabre of the UFC, won 34 percent of the vote. The Constitutional Court swore in Gnassingbé on May 3, 2010.
 
History of Togo (Wikipedia)

 [D1]It’s mentioned above. Comite d'action pour le Renouveau ; Action Committee for Renewal
 [D2]Name?
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Togo's Newspapers

Le Togo sur le net (French)

LeTogolais (French)
Togo News (French)
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History of U.S. Relations with Togo

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Togo were established in April 1960, with Leland Barrows serving as the first US ambassador to the country.

 
The Peace Corps began its work in Togo with 2,580 volunteers in 1962. Peace Corps volunteers have partnered with local and international organizations to make maximum use of local resources and assist in promoting self-sufficiency and small business development. Other areas of concentration included education, the environment, and health, especially HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.
 
The government of Togo, with the support of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), established an export processing zone (EPZ) in Togo in 1989. The zone has attracted private investors interested in manufacturing, assembly, and food processing, primarily for the export market.
 
USAID closed its local office in 1994 and runs local development programs from its office in Accra through nongovernmental organizations in Togo.
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Current U.S. Relations with Togo

Relations between the US and Togo are cordial. Since Togo became a market-oriented economy, the two countries have developed relations along economic lines. However, the United States has never been one of Togo’s major trade partners.

 
In October 2010, ContourGlobal, an American power company, began operations of its new power plant in Lomé and holds the capacity to provide 100 megawatts of electricity. This is the largest electricity investment ever made in Togo.
 
Currently, there are 141 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Togo.
 
In 2005, 2,141 Americans visited Togo, an increase of 2.1% from the previous year.
 
In 2006, 943 Togolese visited the US, a decrease of 14.2% from 2005. Visitors have decreased in number every year since 2002, when 1,801 traveled to America.
 
 
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Where Does the Money Flow

US imports from Togo totaled 9.1 million in 2010, while US exports to Togo amounted to $169.8 million.

 
US imports from Togo were dominated by cocoa beans, with a value of $7.9 million in 2010.
 
US exports to Togo in 2010 were more diverse: new and used passenger cars ($42.4 million), accessories for generators ($36.3 million), petroleum products ($31.7 million), and rice ($17.7 million).
 
US aid to Togo has increased since the 1990s as the government of Togo hopes to sustain political and economic reform. In this light, the US hopes to monitor the Togolese government’s efforts to promote democracy. Additionally, the US aims to help develop a professional military that respects civilian leadership.
 
The FY2012 request for stabilization operations and security sector reform is $140,000. The aid will be dispersed through the African Contingency Operations Training Assistance program, which provides equipment, training, and enhancements to help the Togolese contribute to peacekeeping operations in Africa.
 
Through the International Military Education Training program, funds will be directed to develop the military with respect to human rights, rule of law, and relations with civilians through military training in maritime operations and search and rescue among other forms of military training. English will also be taught to improve communication between the Togolese and English-speaking militaries.
 
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Controversies

Colombian Drug Lord Extradited from Togo to US

Solano Cortez Jorge, a Colombian drug lord caught smuggling hundreds of pounds of cocaine through Togo in 2008, was extradited from West Africa to face charges of drug trafficking in the US. Togo’s Anti-Drugs Narcotics Control Squad arrested Jorge in October with seven other Colombians. The group was found with 1,100 pounds of cocaine near the seaport in the capital of Lomé. West Africa has increasingly become a transit point for drugs headed to Europe in recent years.
Togo to Extradite Alleged Colombian Druglord to US (by Ebow Godwin, Associated Press)
 
US Demands Free and Fair Elections in Togo
In April 2005, the United States expressed concern about elections in Togo, and demanded that they be free and fair. The interior minister, Francois Boko, suggested postponing the elections for another year or two, but the country’s interim leader, Abbas Bonfoh, dismissed him and said voting would go ahead as planned. State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli said that the international community would closely scrutinize the conduct of balloting and vote counting. He also said that the US embassy in Lomé and other diplomatic posts would send out diplomats to observe the election, and added that government authorities and security forces should act in compliance with international human right standards.
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Human Rights

According to the State Department, human rights problems included: “security force use of excessive force, including torture, which resulted in several injuries; official impunity; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; executive influence over the judiciary; infringement of citizens’ privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of press, assembly, and movement; official corruption; discrimination and violence against women; child abuse, including female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual exploitation of children; regional and ethnic discrimination; trafficking in persons, especially women and children...” and societal discrimination.

 
Torture
Although the constitution outlaws torture, many police and gendarmes abused detainees in 2009. The government did not prosecute these abuses, and impunity continued to be a problem.
 
However, there were no more reports of attacks on human rights workers.
 
Prison Conditions
Prisons remained overcrowded and unsanitary and did not provide healthy food.
 
The Central Prison of Lomé had a capacity for 666 prisoners but held 1,925 in 2010. It was reported that in 2009, these prisoners were dying of hunger because they received one 31-cent meal per day.
 
Medical facilities were inadequate and related corruption was rampant. Sick prisoners were required to pay 1,500 CFA to guards to visit the infirmary. Prison officials also reportedly withheld treatment from sick prisoners.
 
Prisoners often had to pay fees to prison guards to use the shower or toilet or have a place to sleep.
 
Female prisoners were often harassed by guards.
 
Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
Although arbitrary arrest and detention are both outlawed security forces arrested opposition members on several occasions. The government detained political prisoners, but they were released by the end of the year.
 
There were 16 political detainees from the March 4, 2010, presidential elections. However, the government denied holding political prisoners.
 
Official Corruption
Criminal penalties for corruption were not effectively implemented by the government. The World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators for 2009 noted that government corruption was a serious problem.
 
According to the State Department, “Corruption was common among prison officials, police officers, and members of the judiciary.”
 
Although a disciplinary committee was established in July 2010 to investigate corrupt officers, it had not begun operations as of December 2010.
 
Women
Togolese law criminalizes rape with a penalty of five to ten years in prison; however, spousal rape is not prohibited.
 
The government investigated rape promptly; however victims often refrained from reporting cases due to social stigma or reprisal. In 2010, 22 persons were arrested for rape.
 
Although the law promotes gender equality, women experienced discrimination in education, pension benefits, and inheritance. Despite these trends, women in urban areas dominated market activities and commerce.
 
Women should receive equal pay under law. This law was effectively enforced in the formal sector. Also, women did not experience economic discrimination with respect to access to employment, credit, or business management.
 
Children
Child abuse and trafficking into indentured and exploitative servitude was common. Although government laws prohibit abuse and trafficking, they were poorly enforced due to a lack of resources. In January 2009, the government established a toll-free line to provide aid to victims and to report child abuse cases.
 
The law prohibits female genital mutilation (FGM), which was practiced on about 6 percent of girls in 201 even though. figures have decreased since the 1998 anti-FGM law went into effect. The penalty for FGM ranged from two months to five years with large fines. However, knowledge of these laws was limited in rural areas and subsequently did not apply to rural residents.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The Embassy in Lomé was established on Apr 27, 1960, with Jesse M. MacKnight as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

 
Leland Barrows
Appointment: Jun 23, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 22, 1960
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Jun 27, 1961
Note: Also accredited to Cameroon; resident at Yaounde.
 
Leon B. Poullada
Appointment: Apr 18, 1961
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 27, 1961
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 24, 1964
 
William Witman II
Appointment: Jun 8, 1964
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 10, 1964
Termination of Mission: Left post May 8, 1967
 
Albert W. Sherer, Jr.
Appointment: Sep 13, 1967
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 13, 1967
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 5, 1970
Note: Also accredited to Equatorial Guinea; resident at Lomé.
 
Dwight Dickinson
Appointment: Sep 8, 1970
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 8, 1970
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 3, 1974
 
Nancy V. Rawls 
Appointment: Feb 11, 1974
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 7, 1974
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 8, 1976
 
Ronald D. Palmer
Appointment: Sep 16, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 28, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 15, 1978
 
Marilyn P. Johnson
Appointment: Sep 23, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 3, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 29, 1981
 
Howard Kent Walker
Appointment: Mar 9, 1982
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 19, 1982
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 9, 1984
 
Owen W. Roberts
Appointment: Jun 28, 1984
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1984
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1986
 
David A. Korn
Appointment: Oct 16, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 4, 1988
 
Rush Walker Taylor, Jr.
Appointment: Apr 28, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 20, 1988
Termination of Mission: Left post Sep 4, 1990
 
Harmon Elwood Kirby
Appointment: Oct 22, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 3, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 16, 1994
 
Johnny Young
Appointment: May 9, 1994
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 7, 1994
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 1997
 
Brenda Schoonover
Appointment: Nov 11, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 7, 1998
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 30, 2000
 
Karl William Hofmann
Appointment: Sep 15, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 17, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 14, 2002
 
Gregory W. Engle
Appointment: Apr 16, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 1, 2005
 
David B. Dunn
Appointment: Nov 2, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 2, 2006
Termination of Mission: August 2008
 
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Togo's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Bariki, Limbiye

Limbiye Edawe Kadangha Bariki became the Togolese ambassador to the US on July 14, 2009.

 
Bariki graduated from the University of Benin in Togo (now known as the Univerity of Lomé) and the National School of Administration in Lomé, Togo.
 
He joined the Togolese Diplomatic Service in 1991 and held positions in the Directorate of Economic and Technical Affairs and the Directorate of Political and Legal Affairs from 1991 to 1996.
 
Bariki held several positions in the following years: chief of diplomatic affairs in the presidency of Togo (1996-1997), chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Togo in Gabon (1998 to 2000), and chief of staff to the minister of foreign affairs and cooperation (2000-2003).
 
The following year, he was a member of the Togolese National Negotiating Committee on Economic Partnership Agreements between West Africa and the European Union. From 2004 to 2006, Bariki served as a technical counselor responsible for economic and commercial affairs and cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
 
Prior to being the Togolese ambassador, he served as a member of the governmental delegation to the Foundations of Social Dialogue in Togo.
 
Bariki and his wife have three children.
 
 

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Togo's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Togo

Whitehead, Robert
ambassador-image

On October 17, 2011, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint as ambassador to the small West African nation of Togo a veteran diplomat who has spent years focusing on Africa–US relations. Robert E. Whitehead was confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012.

 
Born circa 1954 in Indiana,Whitehead earned his B.A. at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and his M.A. in English Literature and Linguistics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. From 1976 to 1980, he was a volunteer and a Fulbright lecturer at the National University of Zaire (Congo) in English and American History.
 
He joined the Foreign Service in 1983 and has served at ten overseas posts, all but three in Africa, although his first posting was to Guyana, in South America. Other early assignments included as Political Officer at the embassy in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo); Political Officer at the embassy in Belmopan, Belize, in 1988 and 1989; Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy in Bangui, Central African Republic; and Chargé d’Affaires at the embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, in late 1994, shortly after the end of the genocide that killed approximately 500,000 people there.
 
Whitehead’s only European assignment came from 1995 to 1998, when he was posted to the embassy in Bucharest, Romania, to serve as Political Officer. He was then promoted to Deputy Chief of Mission at embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1999, and then served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe. Returning stateside, Whitehead served as desk officer in the Office of West African Affairs, and as a Senior Inspector in the Office of the State Department Inspector General. He then went back to Africa, first as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, from 2004 to 2005, and then as the first Consul General in Juba, South Sudan, in 2006 and 2007.
 
Back in Washington, Whitehead served as the Director of the Office of African Analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2007 to 2009, and then returned to Khartoum to serve again as Charge d’Affaires at the embassy from May 2009 to 2011, during the time that South Sudan formally seceded from Sudan.
 
Whitehead is fluent in French and Romanian, and also knows some Arabic. 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Togo

Hawkins, Patricia
ambassador-image

 

A native of Pennsylvania, Patricia McMahon Hawkins has served as the United States Ambassador to Togo since August 22, 2008. Hawkins attended Barnard College in New York City and graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a BS in Education. She studied French at Georgetown University, the Université de Dijon, and NYU.
 
Before joining the Foreign Service, she taught in both elementary and secondary schools in France and Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Richard S.D. Hawkins, are career Foreign Service Officers.
 
Hawkins joined the United States International Communications Agency, later USIA, in 1980. At USIA headquarters in Washington, DC, she was the Country Affairs Officer for the eight countries of Francophone West Africa, and Policy Application and Coordination Officer (PACO) in the office of USIA’s Assistant Director. She also served as the Public Affairs Advisor to the US Delegation to the CSCE Conference on the Human Dimension, in Paris in 1989.
 
Her first tour was in Paris, where she served as the Assistant Information Officer and Deputy Press Attaché. She subsequently served as Information Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Public Affairs Officer in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as Cultural Affairs Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, as Counselor for Public Affairs in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she also served briefly as acting deputy chief of mission and then for several months as Chargé d’Affaires.
 
In 2001, Hawkins was posted to the Dominican Republic as Counselor for Public Affairs. Her most recent assignments have been in Washington, DC, as Policy Application and Coordination Officer in the Office of Public Affairs of the Bureau of African Affairs, and as a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources.
 
During a three-year hiatus from the Foreign Service, she served as the executive assistant to the president and CEO of Otis Elevator Company, in Farmington, Connecticut.
 
Hawkins has donated $4,000 to various Democratic candidates and causes, including the New Hampshire Democratic State Committee, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton, among others.
 
She and her husband, Richard S.D. Hawkins, have a son and a daughter. Richard Hawkins was the director of quality improvement for the Otis Elevator Company, when, in 1995, he decided to join the Foreign Service in order to spend more time with his family. At the time of his wife’s appointment as ambassador to Togo, however, he was a team leader in Iraq, imbedded with the 3rd Combat Brigade Team of the 3rd Division of the U.S. Army.
 

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Overview

Togo was originally established by Ewe people who migrated from the Niger River Valley. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was ruled by the Portuguese. It became known as the Slave Coast for its extensive role in the West African slave trade. In the 1800s, Germany took control of Togo, ruling until 1914, when French and British forces invaded. France and Britain jointly administered Togo as a UN trust territory after World War II, but in April 1960, Togo severed ties with France and became fully independent. Togo’s first president, Sylvanus Olympio, was assassinated in 1963. For the next several decades, Togo went back and forth between a multi-party system and complete military dictatorship. Numerous coups gave rise to violence that displaced more than 300,000 Togolese to Benin and Ghana.

 
Clashes between students and the government in the 1990s resulted in further violence. With government parties winning all or most of the seats, elections were widely perceived to be corrupt. Elected in 1967 and despite numerous treaties and reconciliation commissions, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma continued to hold onto power until his death in 2005. Although the military tried to install his son, Faure Gnassingbé, as president shortly thereafter, pressure from the international community forced him to step down. Subsequent elections were also marred by violence and irregularities, leaving Gnassingbé the winner and Edem Kodjo as prime minister. In 2006, Gnassingbé signed the Global Political Agreement that was supposed to help bring an end to the political crisis in Togo.
 
Recent controversies involving the United States include Togo’s deportation of a Colombian drug lord to the US, who had been wanted on trafficking charges.
 
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: On the southern coast of West Africa, Togo is bounded on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Benin, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the west by Ghana. This narrow strip of ground rises from the gulf to a plateau, which leads to the Atakora Mountains in the middle of the country. To the north are the Oti river valley and gently rolling grasslands.

 
Population: 6.8 million
 
Religions: Ethnoreligious 33%, Catholic 28%, Sunni Muslim 14%, Protestant 10%, Other Christian 10%, Baha’i 0.5%.
 
Ethnic Groups: African Tribes (Ewe, Mina, and Kabre are the largest) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%.
 
Languages: Ewe 15.4% (official), Kabiyé (official) 12.5%, Gbe language cluster (Maxi, Waci, Western Xwla) 7.4%, Gen 3.6%, Tem 3.6%, Moba 3.4%, Aja 2.7%, Nawdm 2.6%, French (official) 0.001%. There are 39 living languages in Togo.
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History

The Ewes, who moved into the area from the Niger River Valley between the 12th and 14th centuries, originally founded Togo. Two hundred years later, Portuguese explorers and traders visited the coast of Togo, which quickly became a major center for the slave trade and known as the “Slave Coast.” The trade continued for 200 years, until slavery died out in the US and other countries.

 
In 1884, a treaty was signed at Togoville between the locals and Germany that declared the region a protectorate. Gradually, Germany extended its control inland until it occupied the entire country. Togoland was Germany’s only self-supporting colony. In 1914, Togoland was invaded by French and British forces, and eventually fell to them. After the war, Togoland became a League of Nations mandate divided between France and Great Britain.
 
After World War II, the country became a UN trust territory administered by the United Kingdom and France. Western Togo was administered as part of the British Gold Coast. In 1957, residents of British Togoland voted to become part of the Gold Coast as the independent nation of Ghana.
 
In 1955, French Togo became an autonomous republic within the French union, with UN trustee status. In 1956, a new constitution was adopted by referendum. Later that year, Nicolas Grunitzky became prime minister of the Republic of Togo. But due to irregularities, an unsupervised general election claimed Sylvanus Olympio as the winner.
 
On April 27, 1960, Togo severed ties with France, shed its UN trusteeship status, and became fully independent. Olympio served as president. In 1961, Togo adopted its first constitution as an independent nation, and Olympio’s party won 90% of the vote and all 51 National Assembly seats. Olympio became Togo’s first elected president.
 
He dissolved opposition parties in January 1962, ostensibly because of plots against the government. Many opposition leaders fled to escape arrest. On January 13, 1963, Olympio was assassinated in an uprising of army non-commissioned officers. Grunitzky returned from exile two days later to head a provisional government with the title of prime minister.
 
In May 1963, Togo adopted a new constitution that restored the multi-party system. Grunitzky was elected president, and Antoine Meatchi as vice president. Nine days later, President Grunitzky formed a government in which all parties were represented.
 
But over the next few years, Grunitzky’s government became unstable. He was able to thwart a coup on November 21, 1966, but when he tried to lessen his reliance on the army, Lt. Col. Étienne Eyadéma (later known as Gen. Gnassingbé Eyadéma) ousted him in a bloodless coup on January 13, 1967. Immediately thereafter, all political parties were banned, and the constitution was suspended. A committee of national reconciliation ruled the country until April 14, when Eyadema became president.
 
In late 1969, a single national political party, the Rally of the Togolese People (Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais, or RPT), was created, and Eyadéma was elected party president on November 29, 1969. In 1972, a national referendum, in which Eyadéma ran unopposed, confirmed his role.
 
In late 1979, Eyadéma declared a third republic and vowed to help the country transition to greater civilian rule. He easily won the presidential elections later that year, and a new constitution provided for a national assembly to serve primarily as a consulting body.
 
On September 23, 1986, a group of some 70 armed Togolese dissidents crossed into Lomé from Ghana in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Eyadéma government. Eyadéma was reelected to a third consecutive seven-year term in December of that year.
 
On October 5, 1990, clashes between students and government forces sparked riots in Lomé. In April 1991, the government began negotiations with newly formed opposition groups and agreed to a general amnesty that permitted exiled political opponents to return to Togo. Finally, the government signed an agreement with the opposition to hold a national forum on June 12, 1991.
 
Opponents of President Eyadéma dominated the forum. It opened in July 1991, and proceeded to draft an interim constitution calling for a one-year transitional regime to establish free elections for a new government. The conference selected Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, a lawyer and human rights group leader, as transitional prime minister but kept President Eyadéma as chief of state for the transition, although with limited powers.
 
Over the next three years, the two groups battled for supremacy over the government, and finally Eyadéma gained the upper hand. In November 1991, the High Council of the Republic voted to dissolve the president’s political party, the RPT. On December 3, the army attacked the prime minister’s office, capturing him.
 
Koffigoh then formed a second transition government in January 1992 with substantial participation by ministers from the president’s party. Opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio, son of the slain president Sylvanus Olympio, was ambushed and seriously wounded by soldiers on May 5, 1992.
 
In September 1992, the public overwhelmingly approved the text of a new, democratic constitution, formally initiating Togo’s fourth republic. But the democratic process was set back when certain members of the army held the interim legislature hostage for 24 hours. In retaliation, opposition political parties and labor unions declared a general strike intended to force President Eyadéma to agree to satisfactory conditions for elections. This shut down Lomé for months, and resulted in severe damage to the economy.
 
In January 1993, Eyadéma reappointed Koffigoh as prime minister under Eyadéma’s authority. This set off public demonstrations, and, on January 25, members of the security forces fired on peaceful demonstrators, killing at least 19. More violence followed, and 300,000 Togolese fled the country for Benin, Ghana or the country’s interior.
 
On March 25, 1993, armed Togolese dissident commandos based in Ghana attacked Lomé’s main military camp and tried unsuccessfully to kill President Eyadéma. This was augmented by a general strike, which led to further negotiations with the opposition in early 1993. After four rounds of talks, the Ouagadougou agreement was signed on July 11. But Eyadéma remained in power, winning the subsequent elections by a substantial margin.
 
A new commando attack was launched in January 1994. President Eyadéma was unhurt, and the attack and subsequent reaction by the Togolese armed forces resulted in hundreds of deaths, mostly civilian. February elections went ahead as planned, and opposition parties won a narrow majority in the National Assembly. Edem Kodjo, of Togolese Union for Democracy (UTD), was chosen by Eyadéma to be prime minister. The Action Committee for Renewal (Comité d'Action pour la Renouveau, or CAR) party refused to join Kodjo’s government.
 
However, Kodjo moved on, stressing the importance of economic recovery, building democratic institutions and the rule of law. By early 1995, the government had made some progress, ending the stalemate with CAR and reshuffling staff members.
 
In the June 1998 presidential election, the government prevented citizens from effectively exercising the right to vote. The Interior Ministry declared Eyadéma the winner with 52% of the vote, though serious irregularities in the government’s conduct of the election strongly favored the incumbent. The military was used to intimidate voters and harass opposition groups.
 
The second multi-party legislative elections of Eyadéma’s 33-year rule were held on March 21, 1999. However, the opposition boycotted the election, in which the ruling party won 79 of the 81 seats in the National Assembly. Significant fraud marred the election’s outcome.
 
In June 1999, the RPT and opposition parties met in Paris to agree on security measures in Lomé. In July, all sides signed the Lomé Framework Agreement, which included a promise by President Eyadéma that he would respect the constitution and not seek another term as president. The president also agreed to dissolve the National Assembly in March and hold new legislative elections, which would be supervised by an independent national election commission. But the March 2000 date passed without action from the president. New legislative elections were rescheduled to October 2001, but were delayed again, until March 2002.
 
In May 2002, the government scrapped the independent national election commission, blaming the opposition for its inability to function. Because opposition parties boycotted the October elections, the government’s party won the majority of seats. In December 2002, Eyadéma’s government used this rubber-stamp parliament to amend Togo’s constitution, allowing him to run for an unlimited number of terms. Another amendment stated that candidates must reside in the country for at least 12 months before an election, which barred popular Union of Forces for Change (Union des Forces du Changement, or UFC) candidate, Gilchrist Olympio, who had been in exile since 1992. The presidential election was held June 1, 2003, and Eyadéma was re-elected with 57% of the votes.
 
On April 14, 2004, the government signed an agreement with the European Union that included 22 commitments Togo must honor as a precondition for resumption of EU aid. Two of these were ongoing dialogue between the government and opposition parties, and free and democratic elections. 
 
On February 5, 2005, Eyadéma died. The military swore Faure Gnassingbé (Eyadéma’s son) as president. Immediate condemnation by African leaders followed by sanctions of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. Faure Gnassingbé stepped down on February 25.
 
Abass Bonfoh, National Assembly vice president, was selected to serve as speaker of the National Assembly and therefore simultaneously became interim president. Gnassingbé, however, retained real power, as he continued to use the offices of the president while the interim president operated from the National Assembly.
 
Elections held in 2005 were marred by violence and accusations of vote tampering. Tens of thousands of Togolese fled to Benin and Ghana to escape fighting. Gnassingbé was pronounced the winner and was pressed by the international community to form a government of national unity, including key opposition figures.
 
Gnassingbé failed to reach an agreement with the opposition, and instead named Edem Kodjo as prime minister. Kodjo in turn staffed the cabinet with RPT members, and did not include anyone from opposition parties.
 
In 2006, Gnassingbé and members of the opposition signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA), bringing an end to the political crisis triggered by Eyadéma’s death. This agreement provided for a transitional unity government that would prepare for legislative elections.
 
CAR[D1]  opposition party leader and human rights lawyer Yawovi Agboyibo was appointed prime minister of the transitional government in September 2006. Leopold Gnininvi, president of the Democratic Convention of African Peoples (Convention démocratique des peuples africains, or CDPA) party, was appointed minister of state for mines and energy. The third opposition party, UFC, headed by Gilchrist Olympio, declined to join the government, but agreed to participate in the national electoral commission and the National Dialogue follow-up committee, chaired by Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré.
 
Legislative elections were held on October 14, 2007, and all opposition parties took part. The RPT won a majority, and UFC and CAR also won several seats. On December 3, 2007, President Gnassingbé appointed Komlan Mally as prime minister. He named the rest of his cabinet on December 13, 2007 from the RPT and a number of lesser parties. The number of ministries was reduced substantially, down to 22 from 35. The other two parties elected to the National Assembly, the UFC and CAR, were not represented in the cabinet.
 
On September 5, 2008, Prime Minister Mally submitted his resignation to Gnassingbé, who named Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, formerly of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to the position two days later. The rest of the cabinet was named on September 16, 2008 and was composed of members of the RPT, the CDPA, the Patriotic Pan-African Convergence (Convergence patriotique panafricaine, or CPP), and civil society. The number of ministers rose from 22 to 26, plus two secretaries of state.
 
From February 16 to March 2, 2010, campaigning for the presidential elections went fairly smoothly as the government took extra measures to ensure that the violence from the 2005 elections was not repeated. The elections were monitored by the African Union, European Union, ECOWAS, Francophone countries, and Togolese and foreign NGOs.
 
The election was held on March 4, 2010, and resulted in the election of incumbent President Gnassingbé with 61 percent of the vote, while his opponent[D2] , Jean-Pierre Fabre of the UFC, won 34 percent of the vote. The Constitutional Court swore in Gnassingbé on May 3, 2010.
 
History of Togo (Wikipedia)

 [D1]It’s mentioned above. Comite d'action pour le Renouveau ; Action Committee for Renewal
 [D2]Name?
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Togo's Newspapers

Le Togo sur le net (French)

LeTogolais (French)
Togo News (French)
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History of U.S. Relations with Togo

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Togo were established in April 1960, with Leland Barrows serving as the first US ambassador to the country.

 
The Peace Corps began its work in Togo with 2,580 volunteers in 1962. Peace Corps volunteers have partnered with local and international organizations to make maximum use of local resources and assist in promoting self-sufficiency and small business development. Other areas of concentration included education, the environment, and health, especially HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.
 
The government of Togo, with the support of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), established an export processing zone (EPZ) in Togo in 1989. The zone has attracted private investors interested in manufacturing, assembly, and food processing, primarily for the export market.
 
USAID closed its local office in 1994 and runs local development programs from its office in Accra through nongovernmental organizations in Togo.
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Current U.S. Relations with Togo

Relations between the US and Togo are cordial. Since Togo became a market-oriented economy, the two countries have developed relations along economic lines. However, the United States has never been one of Togo’s major trade partners.

 
In October 2010, ContourGlobal, an American power company, began operations of its new power plant in Lomé and holds the capacity to provide 100 megawatts of electricity. This is the largest electricity investment ever made in Togo.
 
Currently, there are 141 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Togo.
 
In 2005, 2,141 Americans visited Togo, an increase of 2.1% from the previous year.
 
In 2006, 943 Togolese visited the US, a decrease of 14.2% from 2005. Visitors have decreased in number every year since 2002, when 1,801 traveled to America.
 
 
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Where Does the Money Flow

US imports from Togo totaled 9.1 million in 2010, while US exports to Togo amounted to $169.8 million.

 
US imports from Togo were dominated by cocoa beans, with a value of $7.9 million in 2010.
 
US exports to Togo in 2010 were more diverse: new and used passenger cars ($42.4 million), accessories for generators ($36.3 million), petroleum products ($31.7 million), and rice ($17.7 million).
 
US aid to Togo has increased since the 1990s as the government of Togo hopes to sustain political and economic reform. In this light, the US hopes to monitor the Togolese government’s efforts to promote democracy. Additionally, the US aims to help develop a professional military that respects civilian leadership.
 
The FY2012 request for stabilization operations and security sector reform is $140,000. The aid will be dispersed through the African Contingency Operations Training Assistance program, which provides equipment, training, and enhancements to help the Togolese contribute to peacekeeping operations in Africa.
 
Through the International Military Education Training program, funds will be directed to develop the military with respect to human rights, rule of law, and relations with civilians through military training in maritime operations and search and rescue among other forms of military training. English will also be taught to improve communication between the Togolese and English-speaking militaries.
 
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Controversies

Colombian Drug Lord Extradited from Togo to US

Solano Cortez Jorge, a Colombian drug lord caught smuggling hundreds of pounds of cocaine through Togo in 2008, was extradited from West Africa to face charges of drug trafficking in the US. Togo’s Anti-Drugs Narcotics Control Squad arrested Jorge in October with seven other Colombians. The group was found with 1,100 pounds of cocaine near the seaport in the capital of Lomé. West Africa has increasingly become a transit point for drugs headed to Europe in recent years.
Togo to Extradite Alleged Colombian Druglord to US (by Ebow Godwin, Associated Press)
 
US Demands Free and Fair Elections in Togo
In April 2005, the United States expressed concern about elections in Togo, and demanded that they be free and fair. The interior minister, Francois Boko, suggested postponing the elections for another year or two, but the country’s interim leader, Abbas Bonfoh, dismissed him and said voting would go ahead as planned. State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli said that the international community would closely scrutinize the conduct of balloting and vote counting. He also said that the US embassy in Lomé and other diplomatic posts would send out diplomats to observe the election, and added that government authorities and security forces should act in compliance with international human right standards.
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Human Rights

According to the State Department, human rights problems included: “security force use of excessive force, including torture, which resulted in several injuries; official impunity; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; executive influence over the judiciary; infringement of citizens’ privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of press, assembly, and movement; official corruption; discrimination and violence against women; child abuse, including female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual exploitation of children; regional and ethnic discrimination; trafficking in persons, especially women and children...” and societal discrimination.

 
Torture
Although the constitution outlaws torture, many police and gendarmes abused detainees in 2009. The government did not prosecute these abuses, and impunity continued to be a problem.
 
However, there were no more reports of attacks on human rights workers.
 
Prison Conditions
Prisons remained overcrowded and unsanitary and did not provide healthy food.
 
The Central Prison of Lomé had a capacity for 666 prisoners but held 1,925 in 2010. It was reported that in 2009, these prisoners were dying of hunger because they received one 31-cent meal per day.
 
Medical facilities were inadequate and related corruption was rampant. Sick prisoners were required to pay 1,500 CFA to guards to visit the infirmary. Prison officials also reportedly withheld treatment from sick prisoners.
 
Prisoners often had to pay fees to prison guards to use the shower or toilet or have a place to sleep.
 
Female prisoners were often harassed by guards.
 
Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
Although arbitrary arrest and detention are both outlawed security forces arrested opposition members on several occasions. The government detained political prisoners, but they were released by the end of the year.
 
There were 16 political detainees from the March 4, 2010, presidential elections. However, the government denied holding political prisoners.
 
Official Corruption
Criminal penalties for corruption were not effectively implemented by the government. The World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators for 2009 noted that government corruption was a serious problem.
 
According to the State Department, “Corruption was common among prison officials, police officers, and members of the judiciary.”
 
Although a disciplinary committee was established in July 2010 to investigate corrupt officers, it had not begun operations as of December 2010.
 
Women
Togolese law criminalizes rape with a penalty of five to ten years in prison; however, spousal rape is not prohibited.
 
The government investigated rape promptly; however victims often refrained from reporting cases due to social stigma or reprisal. In 2010, 22 persons were arrested for rape.
 
Although the law promotes gender equality, women experienced discrimination in education, pension benefits, and inheritance. Despite these trends, women in urban areas dominated market activities and commerce.
 
Women should receive equal pay under law. This law was effectively enforced in the formal sector. Also, women did not experience economic discrimination with respect to access to employment, credit, or business management.
 
Children
Child abuse and trafficking into indentured and exploitative servitude was common. Although government laws prohibit abuse and trafficking, they were poorly enforced due to a lack of resources. In January 2009, the government established a toll-free line to provide aid to victims and to report child abuse cases.
 
The law prohibits female genital mutilation (FGM), which was practiced on about 6 percent of girls in 201 even though. figures have decreased since the 1998 anti-FGM law went into effect. The penalty for FGM ranged from two months to five years with large fines. However, knowledge of these laws was limited in rural areas and subsequently did not apply to rural residents.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The Embassy in Lomé was established on Apr 27, 1960, with Jesse M. MacKnight as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

 
Leland Barrows
Appointment: Jun 23, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 22, 1960
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Jun 27, 1961
Note: Also accredited to Cameroon; resident at Yaounde.
 
Leon B. Poullada
Appointment: Apr 18, 1961
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 27, 1961
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 24, 1964
 
William Witman II
Appointment: Jun 8, 1964
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 10, 1964
Termination of Mission: Left post May 8, 1967
 
Albert W. Sherer, Jr.
Appointment: Sep 13, 1967
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 13, 1967
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 5, 1970
Note: Also accredited to Equatorial Guinea; resident at Lomé.
 
Dwight Dickinson
Appointment: Sep 8, 1970
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 8, 1970
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 3, 1974
 
Nancy V. Rawls 
Appointment: Feb 11, 1974
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 7, 1974
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 8, 1976
 
Ronald D. Palmer
Appointment: Sep 16, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 28, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 15, 1978
 
Marilyn P. Johnson
Appointment: Sep 23, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 3, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 29, 1981
 
Howard Kent Walker
Appointment: Mar 9, 1982
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 19, 1982
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 9, 1984
 
Owen W. Roberts
Appointment: Jun 28, 1984
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1984
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1986
 
David A. Korn
Appointment: Oct 16, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 4, 1988
 
Rush Walker Taylor, Jr.
Appointment: Apr 28, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 20, 1988
Termination of Mission: Left post Sep 4, 1990
 
Harmon Elwood Kirby
Appointment: Oct 22, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 3, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 16, 1994
 
Johnny Young
Appointment: May 9, 1994
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 7, 1994
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 1997
 
Brenda Schoonover
Appointment: Nov 11, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 7, 1998
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 30, 2000
 
Karl William Hofmann
Appointment: Sep 15, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 17, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 14, 2002
 
Gregory W. Engle
Appointment: Apr 16, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 1, 2005
 
David B. Dunn
Appointment: Nov 2, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 2, 2006
Termination of Mission: August 2008
 
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Togo's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Bariki, Limbiye

Limbiye Edawe Kadangha Bariki became the Togolese ambassador to the US on July 14, 2009.

 
Bariki graduated from the University of Benin in Togo (now known as the Univerity of Lomé) and the National School of Administration in Lomé, Togo.
 
He joined the Togolese Diplomatic Service in 1991 and held positions in the Directorate of Economic and Technical Affairs and the Directorate of Political and Legal Affairs from 1991 to 1996.
 
Bariki held several positions in the following years: chief of diplomatic affairs in the presidency of Togo (1996-1997), chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Togo in Gabon (1998 to 2000), and chief of staff to the minister of foreign affairs and cooperation (2000-2003).
 
The following year, he was a member of the Togolese National Negotiating Committee on Economic Partnership Agreements between West Africa and the European Union. From 2004 to 2006, Bariki served as a technical counselor responsible for economic and commercial affairs and cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
 
Prior to being the Togolese ambassador, he served as a member of the governmental delegation to the Foundations of Social Dialogue in Togo.
 
Bariki and his wife have three children.
 
 

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Togo's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Togo

Whitehead, Robert
ambassador-image

On October 17, 2011, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint as ambassador to the small West African nation of Togo a veteran diplomat who has spent years focusing on Africa–US relations. Robert E. Whitehead was confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012.

 
Born circa 1954 in Indiana,Whitehead earned his B.A. at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and his M.A. in English Literature and Linguistics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. From 1976 to 1980, he was a volunteer and a Fulbright lecturer at the National University of Zaire (Congo) in English and American History.
 
He joined the Foreign Service in 1983 and has served at ten overseas posts, all but three in Africa, although his first posting was to Guyana, in South America. Other early assignments included as Political Officer at the embassy in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo); Political Officer at the embassy in Belmopan, Belize, in 1988 and 1989; Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy in Bangui, Central African Republic; and Chargé d’Affaires at the embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, in late 1994, shortly after the end of the genocide that killed approximately 500,000 people there.
 
Whitehead’s only European assignment came from 1995 to 1998, when he was posted to the embassy in Bucharest, Romania, to serve as Political Officer. He was then promoted to Deputy Chief of Mission at embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1999, and then served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe. Returning stateside, Whitehead served as desk officer in the Office of West African Affairs, and as a Senior Inspector in the Office of the State Department Inspector General. He then went back to Africa, first as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, from 2004 to 2005, and then as the first Consul General in Juba, South Sudan, in 2006 and 2007.
 
Back in Washington, Whitehead served as the Director of the Office of African Analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2007 to 2009, and then returned to Khartoum to serve again as Charge d’Affaires at the embassy from May 2009 to 2011, during the time that South Sudan formally seceded from Sudan.
 
Whitehead is fluent in French and Romanian, and also knows some Arabic. 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Togo

Hawkins, Patricia
ambassador-image

 

A native of Pennsylvania, Patricia McMahon Hawkins has served as the United States Ambassador to Togo since August 22, 2008. Hawkins attended Barnard College in New York City and graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a BS in Education. She studied French at Georgetown University, the Université de Dijon, and NYU.
 
Before joining the Foreign Service, she taught in both elementary and secondary schools in France and Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Richard S.D. Hawkins, are career Foreign Service Officers.
 
Hawkins joined the United States International Communications Agency, later USIA, in 1980. At USIA headquarters in Washington, DC, she was the Country Affairs Officer for the eight countries of Francophone West Africa, and Policy Application and Coordination Officer (PACO) in the office of USIA’s Assistant Director. She also served as the Public Affairs Advisor to the US Delegation to the CSCE Conference on the Human Dimension, in Paris in 1989.
 
Her first tour was in Paris, where she served as the Assistant Information Officer and Deputy Press Attaché. She subsequently served as Information Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Public Affairs Officer in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as Cultural Affairs Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, as Counselor for Public Affairs in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she also served briefly as acting deputy chief of mission and then for several months as Chargé d’Affaires.
 
In 2001, Hawkins was posted to the Dominican Republic as Counselor for Public Affairs. Her most recent assignments have been in Washington, DC, as Policy Application and Coordination Officer in the Office of Public Affairs of the Bureau of African Affairs, and as a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources.
 
During a three-year hiatus from the Foreign Service, she served as the executive assistant to the president and CEO of Otis Elevator Company, in Farmington, Connecticut.
 
Hawkins has donated $4,000 to various Democratic candidates and causes, including the New Hampshire Democratic State Committee, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton, among others.
 
She and her husband, Richard S.D. Hawkins, have a son and a daughter. Richard Hawkins was the director of quality improvement for the Otis Elevator Company, when, in 1995, he decided to join the Foreign Service in order to spend more time with his family. At the time of his wife’s appointment as ambassador to Togo, however, he was a team leader in Iraq, imbedded with the 3rd Combat Brigade Team of the 3rd Division of the U.S. Army.
 

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