Togolese Security Minister Colonel Atcha Titikpina has appealed to the European Union (EU) to help his country in securing the coming legislative elections.
Titikpina made the request on Wednesday while receiving an EU delegation in Lome. During the meeting, the security minister outlined the measures put in place for the elections as well as the efforts undertaken in recent months by Togolese authorities for protecting lives and property. Titikpina asked the EU's to notably help in strengthening the police force by providing protective, transportation and transmission equipment.
"We are expecting to receive material help as there's no point in training people, without providing them with all they need in order to carry out their duties properly," the colonel told journalists.
"Aside from the logistical problems, I will also embark on an awareness campaign covering all units," said he. Togolese authorities have recruited 1,200 police officers and 715 gendarmes so as to avoid having to ask for armed forces' intervention in securing the polls.
On January 8, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe promised, during his traditional address to diplomatic corps, to do his best to ensure that these polls will be "democratic," and asked them to continue to support his country in its search for a lasting solution to the political crisis which has continued to plague the country for several years now.
The holding of "free and fair" elections is the major condition imposed by the EU as a prerequisite to the normalization of its relations with Togo, broken since 1993 owing to "democratic deficiencies."