Opposition protesters in the West African state of Togo burned tires in the streets on August 21, 2012. The former French colony has been a bulwark of neo-colonial rule in Africa., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Opposition protesters take to streets in Togo
Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:54PM GMT
Thousands of opposition protesters have taken to the streets in Togo’s capital city of Lome to press demands for reform ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in October.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Tuesday after protesters began to burn tires and blocked the roads.
Several people were detained and some others were injured when protesters gathered in Lome's Be neighbourhood, the opposition said.
A rally was scheduled in the major commercial area of Deckon, where about 100 police officers had been deployed after the government declared the zone off-limits to demonstrators.
Tuesday’s march, which was called by the opposition-led "Save Togo" campaign, was the latest in a series of violent protests in the West African state since June.
According to the opposition, the country's constituency boundaries, which were redrawn in May, favor the ruling party and is challenging a move to increase the number of seats in parliament to 91 from 81.
Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe came to power in 2005 disputed election after the death of his father, who had run the country for 38 years with an iron fist.
Gnassingbe was re-elected to a second term in 2010 in a poll marred by opposition complaints of fraud and intimidation.