- Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé has declared that the situation in his country was under control after a suspected coup attempt last month, in which his half-brother was alleged to be involved.
"I came today to give an account of the situation and to tell him that the situation is under control," Mr Gnassingbé told journalists, referring to Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua. The Togolese leader spoke after meeting with his Nigerian counterpart in Abuja.
Several civilians were arrested following the alleged coup, in which the President's half-brother Kpatcha Gnassingbé, a former Defence Minister and leader of the Togolese ruling party, was arrested before he could take refuge in the US embassy.
Kpatcha Gnassingbé was alleged to be the leader of the foiled coup. Eighteen soldiers as well as a deputy police officer were also arrested over the same mid-April coup attempt. Also ten civilians were arrested as part of an investigation into the coup attempt. Another brother of the President, Essolizam Gnassingbé, was also detained.
The President's brother was said to be opposed to measures taken by the new leader since he came to power in a coup after the death of their father Gnassingbé Eyadema, who ruled Togo with a heavy hand from 1967 to 2005.
"In his capacity as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Umaru Yar'adua sent a delegation headed by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, to know about the situation but above all to express support to Togo, the government and to myself," President Gnassingbé was quoted as saying on the government's website.
The Togolese leadership has been keen to announce that the country has returned to normality after the family affair coup attempt in April. Armed forces in the streets and curfew in Lomé were mostly avoided during the arrest of the alleged coup leaders, and city life returned to normal only a few days after the armed action.
Only last week, the chairman of Togo's Constitutional Court, Aboudou Assouma, issued a statement saying democratic reform was going on as planned and announced the country was to hold presidential elections in February or March 2010.
In a statement issued to put an end to "speculations relating to the date of presidential election for 2010," Mr Assouma said Togo was to hold presidential elections between 18 February and 5 March next year. Government would thus meet its constitutional obligations to hold elections around two months before President Gnassingbé's five-year term ends in May 2010.
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