The Togolese government has banned the march scheduled for Saturday (today) in Lomé by opposition parties and civil society organisations to protest the irregularities in the electoral process, impunity and the expensive cost of living in the country.
In a statement issued late Friday, the government said it had directed the security forces to prevent the demonstratation and ensure peace and public security."As the organisers seek to attack the Republican values, the government can't accept the holding of such demonstratation," the statement said.
Traditional leaders in the Bè district, in the South-east of Lomé, have also banned any demonstration in their areas, which are considered to be the stronghold of the opposition.
On Saturday morning, security forces patrolled the Togolese capital, occupying key areas along the demonstrators' planned route.
Meanwhile, organisers of the protest have denounced the government's ban, describing it as "arbitrary".
Among the parties that had called the protest are the Union of Forces for Change (UFC), the Alliance of Democracies for Development (ADDI), the Workers' Party and the Union for Democracy and Solidarity (UDS-Togo).