1959 May, Sylvanus Olympio led
a push for Togo's complete independence.
1960 Apr 27, Togo, a UN Trust
territory under French administration, gained independence. Sylvanus
Olympio became the 1st chief of state.
(PC, 1992, p.973)(EWH, 1st ed., p.1170)
1963 Jan 13, Togo’s first
president, Sylvanus Olympio, was killed by a military junta led by
Gngassigbe Eyadema (29). Eyadama suspended the constitution and
instituted direct military rule. Nicholas Grunitzky succeeded
Olympio. Gnassingbe went on to become the country's military
dictator, ruling for nearly four decades during which time he
celebrated the day of Olympio's assassination as a national holiday.
(SFC, 6/25/98, p.A12)(EWH, 1st ed., p.1172)(AP,
1967 Togo military leader
Gnassingbe Eyadema (d.2005) began ruling the country.
1975 Feb 28, The EU signed
another trade deal in Lome, Togo, to keep markets open to former
European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands
1975 May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was
signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was
formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Burkina
Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
1991-93 A democracy movement was suppressed,
strikes ruined the economy and the infrastructure deteriorated.
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A8)
1993 Pres. Gnassinghe Eyadema
conducted an election that was so riddled with fraud that the
opposition refused to compete.
(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A22)
1993 European donors suspended
most aid to Togo.
(Econ, 2/12/05, p.48)
1994 Legislative elections were
marked by army violence and intimidation.
(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A22)
1996 Dec 10, The US refused to
provide aid to Togo because of endemic corruption and repression but
France has resumed a major aid program.
(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A22)
1997 Aug 22, Singer King Mensah
Papavi lived in Paris and was hailed as the best African singer of
1997. He was backed by his girlfriend Tetia Oyourou of the Ivory
(SFC, 8/22/97, p.A1,12)
1998 Jun 21, Elections were
held in Togo. When returns showed Pres. Eyadama trailing one of his
generals took over the ballot counting. Soldiers killed hundreds.
Vote counting stopped, and Eyadema was declared winner.
(SFC, 6/25/98, p.A12)(SFC, 7/24/99, p.C1)(AP,
1998 Jun 24, In Togo thousands
protested the declared victory of Pres. Gngassigbe Eyadema, who has
ruled over the last 31 years. EU observers declared that the
electoral process was flawed.
(SFC, 6/25/98, p.A12)
1998 Jun 26, In the Ivory Coast
Alioune Blondin Beye, a diplomat from Mali, crashed in a small plane
near Abidjan. He had just met with Togo Pres. Gnassigbe Eyadema to
support peace talks in Angola. Three other passengers were Koffi
Adjovi of Togo, journalist Moktar Gueye of Senegal, and Baendegar
Dessandre of Chad.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.A18)
1999 Mar, Opposition parties
boycotted parliamentary elections. The Union of Forces for Change
was led by the exiled main rival, Gilchrist Olympio.
(SFC, 7/24/99, p.C1)(SFC, 7/30/99, p.D3)
1999 Jul 29, All opposition
parties signed an agreement "to rise above the past and turn toward
the future." The agreement noted the decision of Pres. Eyadema not
to seek another term or to rerun the March elections.
(SFC, 7/30/99, p.D3)
2000 Mar, Pres. Blaise Compaore
of Burkina Faso and Gnassinghe Eyadema of Togo were reported to have
helped Jonas Savimbi of UNITA obtain arms and fuel in exchange for
(SFC, 4/19/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 10, In Togo UN Sec.
Gen. Kofi Annan opened a summit conference of the Organization of
(SFC, 7/11/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 12, In Togo 36 African
heads of state signed a draft treaty seen as a step toward an
(SFC, 7/13/00, p.C4)
2002 Oct 27, Togo held
parliamentary elections that were boycotted by major opposition
parties but contested by 14 smaller groups.
2003 Jan 13, Togo’s Pres.
Gnassingbe Eyadema, celebrated 36 years in power Monday with a
military parade, a display derided by opposition groups as "a sheer
waste of time."
2003 Jun 1, Togo's Pres.
Gnassingbe Eyadema, Africa's longest reigning ruler, faced
elections. Togo's per capita income fell from $600 in the 1980s to
less than $300 in 2003.
2003 Jun 3, In Togo security
forces arrested opposition leaders and beat their followers, moving
out in force to quell protests of an election the military ruler
claimed to be winning.
2003 Jun 4,Togo President Gen.
Gnassingbe Eyadema, was declared winner of questioned presidential
2004 Sep 15, Eight French
speaking African countries began retiring over 1 billion in decaying
currency with new CFA francs. Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo had until Dec 31 to turn
in old bills for new ones.
(SFC, 9/15/04, p.C8)
2004 Nov 20, In Togo at least
13 people died and others were injured in a crush at a demonstration
to welcome an improvement in relations with the EU.
2005 Feb 5, Togo’s Pres.
Gnassingbe Eyadema (69) died of a heart attack. The military quickly
announced that his son would replaced him as head of state. The
constitution called for the speaker of parliament to succeed the
president in the event of his death.
(SSFC, 2/6/05, p.A16)
2005 Feb 6, The African Union
accused military commanders in Togo of taking advantage of the death
of the country's longtime leader to stage a coup and raised the
possibility that its 53 members will not recognize the West African
nation's new government.
2005 Feb 7, Faure Gnassingbe
was sworn in as president of Togo, two days after the death of his
2005 Feb 8, In Lome, Togo, a
strike called by opposition parties shut down the capital’s main
market and other businesses.
2005 Feb 9, Faure Gnassingbe,
Togo's new president, addressed the nation for the first time since
succeeding his father. He offered talks with the exiled opposition
and promised general elections as soon as possible.
2005 Feb 10, Togo turned away a
plane carrying Nigerian peacemakers, drawing threats of sanctions
and accusations from Nigeria that it was blocking efforts to resolve
a crisis widely condemned as a military coup.
2005 Feb 12, In Togo thousands
of demonstrators clashed with riot police in the capital for a 2nd
day, protesting against the recent army-appointed president. 3
people were reportedly killed and dozens wounded when police fired
2005 Feb 14, Togo police in
riot gear faced off with crowds who blocked roads and intimidated
residents during a general strike to protest the army's installation
of Faure Gnassingbe to succeed his late father as president.
2005 Feb 21, Togo Lawmakers
amended the constitution to allow for elections within 60 days, but
left the West African nation's military-appointed ruler in power in
the interim despite intensifying pressure at home and abroad.
2005 Feb 25, In Togo Faure
Gnassingbe, whose predecessor — his father — had been Africa's
longest-serving leader, stepped down as a result of almost
unprecedented African resolve against an old-style coup d'etat.
2005 Feb 26, Togo’s Congress
named deputy speaker Bonfoh Abbass as interim president until
nationwide elections can be held in the coming months.
2005 Feb 27, Togo demonstrators
protested against the new president, lighting flaming barricades in
the capital's streets and throwing rocks at riot police who fired
tear gas to keep crowds from moving toward government buildings.
They claimed the position should have gone to the parliament
speaker, a ruling-party loyalist, who was fired after he refused to
return to the country in the early days of the crisis.
2005 Apr 24, Voters lined up
across Togo to choose a new president, hoping to establish democracy
after the tiny West African nation was thrown into months of
political turmoil by the death of Africa's longest-serving ruler.
2005 Apr 26, Togo’s ballot
results showed Faure Gnassingbe, the son of Togo's longtime
dictator, won 60 percent of the vote. Opposition supporters upset by
the results built flaming barricades in the capital and threw stones
at passing cars.
2005 Apr 27, Opposition
supporters protesting the presidential election victory by the son
of Togo's longtime dictator threw Molotov cocktails and rocks during
street clashes with security forces in the capital, leaving at least
six people dead and some foreign embassies damaged.
2005 May 19, The leaders of
Togo's bitterly divided ruling and opposition parties, meeting in
Nigeria, failed to agree on a power-sharing deal to end a bloody
2005 Sep 26, The UN high
commissioner for human rights said at least 400 and as many as 500
people were killed in political violence in Togo since the Feb 5
death of Pres. Gnassingbe Eyadema, and security forces were mostly
2006 Sep 16, Togo's Pres. Faure
Gnassingbe named Yawovi Agboyibo (63), an opposition party leader,
as prime minister, bringing the nation one step closer to
long-delayed parliamentary elections.
2006 Dec 28, Togo became one of
few African countries to legalize abortion if the pregnancy is the
result of rape or an incestuous relationship.
2007 Feb 8, Benin, Nigeria, and
Togo formed a new regional body aimed at fast-tracking the
integration of their economies. The body, known as the Co-Prosperity
Alliance Zone (COPAZ), was formally inaugurated following a
mini-summit of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo, Benin’s
President Boni Yayi and Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe.
2007 Jun 27, Officials said
independent tests carried out in Italy have confirmed the presence
for the first time of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in poultry
from Togo. Several thousand poultry birds have been found dead in
Togo recently, most of them in the past week on the one farm in
2007 Aug 11, Togo national
television said 3 new cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu
have been detected in poultry on farms in Sigbehoue, 45 kilometers
east of the capital.
2007 Sep 21, The Red Cross
warned that a massive aid effort is needed to cope with floods in 18
countries across Africa that have already affected at least 1.5
million people and killed at least 270 in Ghana, Kenya, Somalia,
Sudan, Togo, Uganda and other countries.
2007 Oct 14, Togolese voted in
legislative elections that no opposition members boycotted for the
first time in nearly a decade, a hopeful sign for democracy in this
West African nation that has been ruled by one family for 40 years.
2008 Sep 5, Togo’s PM Komla
Mally unexpectedly resigned after less than a year in office. He had
been accused of lacking initiative and of being ineffective.
(SFC, 9/7/08, p.A3)
2008 Sep 9, Togo’s Health
Ministry said an outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed for the
first time since last year.
2009 Jan 15, Togo agreed to
extradite to the US Solano Cortez Jorge, an alleged druglord from
Colombia, who was arrested trying to smuggle hundreds of pounds
(kilograms) of cocaine through this West African nation last year.
2009 Feb 27, The UN Children's
Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass
immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were
reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
2009 Apr, In Togo former
defense minister Kpatcha Gnassingbe was arrested for being the
alleged mastermind of a coup plot against his half-brother. His
house was raided by elite troops in an operation that led to a
bloody gunfight. In 2011 the two half-brothers of President Faure
Gnassingbe and 30 others appeared in court over the alleged coup
plot. On Sep 15 a Togo court sentenced former defense minister
Kpatcha Gnassingbe, Gen. Assani Tidjani and Abi Atti to 20 years
each for their role in the plot.
(AFP, 8/30/11)(AP, 9/15/11)
2010 Jan 8, In Angola hooded
gunmen sprayed the Togo soccer team’s bus with gunfire as it
traveled through the restive northern Cabinda enclave. The bus
driver was killed and 7 others were injured. The attack was claimed
by the separatist Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda
(FLEC), which has been fighting for decades for the independence of
the oil-rich territory. The next day media officer Stanislas Ocloo
and assistant coach Amalete Abalo died from their wounds. Virgilio
Santos, an official with the African Nations Cup local organizing
committee COCAN, said teams had been told explicitly not to travel
to the tournament by road.
2010 Jan 9, Togo's national
soccer team, devastated by a shooting attack on its bus in Angola
that killed at least 3 and left 8 gravely injured, withdrew from the
African Cup of Nations.
2010 Jan 11, Angola said it had
arrested two people suspected of taking part in an attack on a bus
carrying the Togo national soccer team to the African Nations Cup in
which two delegation members were killed.
2010 Mar 4, Togo held
presidential elections. Jean-Pierre Fabre (57), a deputy in the
National Assembly and the top opposition candidate, said that this
time around the people will not let the ruling party steal the
election. Provisional results on March 6 indicated that Gnassingbe
won 1.2 million votes, representing 60.9% of the roughly 2 million
(AP, 3/4/10)(AP, 3/7/10)
2010 Mar 7, Togo's top
opposition party said they have proof that the ruling party
committed fraud to win the country's contentious presidential
election and that they will show their evidence in court.
2010 Mar 8, In Togo security
forces blocked off three roads leading to the opposition party
headquarters, a day after the group had staged protests claiming
presidential elections last week were rigged to favor the son of the
country's longtime dictator.
2010 Mar 20, In Togo thousands
of opposition demonstrators took to the streets in the West African
nation to protest presidential election results.
2010 Mar 26, Togo's government
and the opposition coalition signed a temporary truce committing
both sides to peace, law and order following opposition protests
against presidential election results.
2010 Apr 10, In Togo more than
6,000 opposition demonstrators took to the streets in the West
African nation to protest the March presidential election results.
2010 May 26, A UN official said
some 3,200 Ghanaians fleeing ethnic strife have crossed into Togo in
2010 Sep 20, In New Jersey a
woman from Togo was been sentenced to 27 years in prison after being
convicted of running a human smuggling operation and forcing women
to work at New Jersey hair braiding salons. Akouavi Afolabi ran a
scheme to bring at least 20 girls and women ages 10 to 19 from West
Africa to the US on fraudulent visas. Victims were made to work at
the salons for no pay. Afolabi was also ordered to pay restitution
totaling $3.9 million. Her ex-husband and son had already pleaded
guilty. Her son received a 55-month prison term. Her ex-husband was
sentenced to 24 years.
2010 Oct 29, Togo’s government
said flooding has killed 21 people and affected more than 82,000 in
recent months and that aid was needed.
2010 Dec 14, The IMF said
Togo's foreign debt will be slashed more than 80% after the African
nation took steps to recover from economic crisis.
2010 Dec 29, An Angolan court
sentenced Jean Antuan Pwaty (42) a Congolese citizen, to 24 years in
prison following the Jan 8 attack on Togo's national soccer team
that killed two people and left eight others wounded including a
goalkeeper. Pwaty was convicted of murder, armed rebellion and
2010 Dec, The Paris Club
decided to cancel $203 million in debt to Togo. The informal group
of 19 creditor countries included the world's most industrialized
2011 May 6, In Togo 26 people
died after their bus crashed. The victims were mainly merchants from
Burkina Faso who were traveling to the Togolese capital for
2011 May 8, In Togo seven boats
capsized in a storm on lake Togo, leaving at least 36 people dead.
2011 May 11, France canceled
all of Togo's debt, amounting to 101.1 million euros, in a bid to
encourage the West African nation to pursue economic reforms.
2011 Jul 21, Eugene Koffi
Adoboli (76), Togo’s former prime minister (1998-2000) was sentenced
to five years in prison in absentia for allegedly embezzling some
1.2 million euros of the budget allocated for the construction of
villas in the capital Lome in 1999. Adoboli, who has lived in
Switzerland since 2002, strongly denied the accusations. Two other
people were also sentenced in absentia over the allegations.
2011 Dec 8, Togo authorities
temporarily shut down the country's two public universities after
security forces fired teargas to break up student protests over a
new financial aid policy. The government last month introduced a new
policy awarding payouts only to brilliant students instead of all
scholars as was in the past.
2012 Feb 2, Togo official Lt.
Col. Yark Damehane said authorities are holding more than 150 Sri
Lankan refugees who entered the West African nation en route to
Canada. Damehane said most of the group arrived in Togo in 2011 and
overstayed their one-week tourist visas.
2012 Apr 3, Togo's President
Faure Gnassingbe received the first part of a report by Togo's
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, charged with
investigating political violence between 1958 and 2005. Gnassingbe
begged for pardon from victims of political violence committed in
the country between 1958 and 2005, part of which covered the period
his father ruled (1967-2005).
2012 May 1, In Togo a
Singapore-managed product tanker with valuable gasoline cargo was
reported missing and suspected to have been hijacked by pirates
while at anchor off Lome.
2012 Jun 6, In Togo Moise Lida
Kouassi, the former defense minister of Ivory Coast's disgraced
ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, was arrested. He was accused of trying
to destabilize the new Ivorian regime.
2012 Jun 13, Togo security
forces broke up a demonstration to protest changes to the electoral
law with tear gas. The opposition claimed 119 people were wounded
over the two days amid government "repression."
2012 Jun 17, Togolese
authorities released three protest leaders, including the
coordinator of Let's Save Togo.
2012 Jun 19, Togolese
authorities detained former prime minister and opposition figure
Agbeyome Kodjo in the wake of protests last week. He was released
later in the day.
2012 Jul 2, In Togo Atayi Ayi,
a reporter for the daily Forum de la Semaine, was taking photographs
of a protest in the capital Lome when he was attacked by two groups
of unidentified demonstrators.
2012 Jul 19, Togo’s President
Faure Gnassingbe named his commerce minister, Kwesi Ahoomey-Zunu, to
lead the new government.
2012 Jul 21, In Togo several
thousands anti-government demonstrators rallied in the capital to
protest what they say is a crackdown on the opposition movement.
2012 Aug 21, Togolese
authorities fired tear gas to disperse a protest by several thousand
people in the capital Lome. This was the first of three days of
demonstrations planned by Let's Save Togo, a coalition of opposition
and civil society groups. A week earlier Togo's government banned
street demonstrations in commercial centers.
2012 Aug 22, Togolese security
forces clashed with protesters in the capital Lome for a second
straight day, with officers firing tear gas on demonstrators who
responded by throwing rocks and burning tires.
2012 Aug 25, In Togo thousands
of protesters marched without incident in the capital Lome after two
days of rallies earlier in the week that saw clashes between
demonstrators and police.
2012 Aug 26, In Togo women in
the civil rights group "Let's Save Togo" said they will have a week
long sex strike to demand the resignation of President Faure
2012 Aug 28, Pirates attacked a
Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo, taking control of its bridge
and kidnapping 24 Russian sailors before escaping amid an exchange
of gunfire with a naval patrol boat.
(AP, 8/28/12)(SFC, 8/29/12, p.A2)
2012 Togo’s population was
about 6 million.
2013 Apr 10, Togolese trade
unions started a three-day protest. The unions are under the
umbrella of the "Togolese Workers Synergy" or " Synergie des
2013 Apr 11, In Togo over
20,000 school children from primary, secondary and high schools
marched in the capital, Lome, in support of teachers who were on
strike to seek better working conditions.
2013 Apr 15, The Togolese
government closed all public and private primary and secondary
schools in the capital, Lome, following protests that rocked the
tiny West Africa nation's education system last week. One student
was fatally shot by security forces in the town of Dapaong.
2013 May 13, In Togo opposition
activists protested the death of one of their leaders in state
custody. Authorities said Kodjo Yakanou suffered a heart attack in
jail, but his supporters maintain he was denied access to adequate
medical care. He was among the opposition supporters detained for
months in questioning with the January burning of two central
2013 May 23, Togo police fired
tear gas to disperse protesters in the latest confrontation between
the ruling party and the increasingly active opposition.
Demonstrators were gathering to protest the death of an opposition
member, who died in jail.
2013 Jul 16, Pirates looted a
chemical tanker and injured some of its crew off the coast of Togo.
Gunmen in speedboats boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged MT Ocean
Centurion and grabbed money and possessions of the ship and its
crew. Togo detained Captain Sunil James and a crew member known only
as Vijayan on charges of aiding the pirates.
(Reuters, 7/18/13)(AFP, 12/19/13)
2013 Jul 25, Togo began voting
in twice-delayed legislative elections in a test of whether mounting
discontent with the West African nation's long-ruling family dynasty
will translate into electoral gains for the opposition.
2013 Jul 28, Togo’s electoral
commission said President Faure Gnassingbe's Union for the Republic
party has won 62 of 91 seats, up from 50 of the legislature's 81
seats in 2007.
2013 Aug 7, Togo’s environment
minister said Emile N'Bouke, a high-profile ivory trafficker, has
been arrested. Activists said his work has fueled the slaughter of
more than 10,000 elephants dating back to the 1970s.
2013 Aug 28, A Togo government
statement said PM Kwesi Seleagodji Ahoomey-Zunu and his government
have resigned their posts a month after parliamentary polls that saw
the ruling party win a two-thirds majority.
2013 Dec 19, Togo freed two
Indian sailors imprisoned since July after India appealed to
President Faure Gnassingbe for their release on compassionate
2014 Jan 28, Togo police said
they have arrested 3 men after discovering nearly two tons of ivory
in a container marked for shipping to Vietnam.
2014 Feb 23, In Togo 18 people
were killed and 40 others injured, 25 of them seriously, in a
collision between a bus and a lorry.