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State

Capital

Togo

Lomé

Currency unit

CFA franc

Connections

Borders

Francophonie

German colonies

West Africa

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History

The largest ethnic group are the Ewes who came from Nigeria in the 14th to 16th centuries. The Mina migrated from Ghana and Ivory Coast in the 17th century. In the 18th century the Danes used the coast for slave trade. It was a buffer zone between Ashanti and Dahomey.

German protection as a colony began in 1884. The territory was invaded by Britain and France in 1914.

It was then split in 1920 between France and Britain as a result of the first world war when it came under League of Nations jurisdiction as a Mandated territory. The British part was added to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) as the trans-Volta Region in 1956 just before independence. The French part became independent in 1960.

There is a not very active border dispute with Ghana. Ethnic groups are found on both sides of the frontier. This dispute could become more active as the Ewes in Ghana criticize bad treatment of Ewes in Togo. If Ghana achieved good and strong government Togo might come under pressure. The country is a long thin strip of land running north and south, but the ethnic divisions in the whole area from Nigeria to Ghana run naturally along bands in an east-west direction. This suggests a speculation that in the future there may be a realignment of the state system to reflect the ethnic divisions rather than the boundaries of the Conference of Berlin and the 1920 Peace Treaties. Civil war is a possibility.

Languages

There are 30 languages. Ewe is the largest group (two thirds), and is also found in Ghana. ; Kwa, Gurma, Konkomba, Basari, Moba, Mossi, Akpose, Adele, Aholo, Fulani are also spoken.

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Politics

Gnassingbe Eyadema seized power in a military coup in 1967, personally killing the first president, Sylvanus Olympio. He had been a sergeant in the French colonial army.

A military regime gave way to an elected regime in September 1991. However, the former dictator remained in office as president while being forced to accept a new Prime Minister. An attempted coup by elements of the military tried to restore the former condition in November 1991. Eyadema represented mainly the Kabye people of the north. The Ewes are excluded from power. By September 1992 Eyadema was apparently regaining or retaining his power. He continued to be "re-elected" until his death in February 2005.

It was announced following his death that one of his sons would succeed. Thus, like several other regimes in Africa it was a disguised monarchy.

The leaders of the African Union have protested at the appointment of Eyadema's son, Faure. Gnassingbe.

He then agreed to call elections in which he intended to stand. Finally, 26 Feb 2005 he agreed to resign from the presidency, pending elections. The election has been criticised by external observers and Gnassingbe was declared "elected" .

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Green/Ecology

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Human Rights

Climate effects

Last revised 1/1/08


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