Open Letter to Alex Vines, Director of Africa Programme at Chatham House,
It has come to our attention that you and your organization Chatham House will be hosting Faure Gnassingbe, the tyrant that has been ruling Togo for over a decade on June 4th 2019 . It has become a tradition to your organization, a research policy institute to host Faure Gnassingbe every year and provide him with a platform to spread his propaganda and your organization Chatham House has become a channel of that despicable act for the past couple years.
Mr Vines, I come as a very bitter, angry and outraged Togolese citizen who like millions of my compatriots have been abused, dehumanized and terrorized by the regime of Faure Gnassingbe and that of his father for the past 5 decades. You are very aware of the fact that Faure Gnassingbe came to power in 2005 through a military coup following the death of his father, and him taking over as president of Togo came with a heavy death toll of at least 500 of my countrywomen and men butchered by his barbaric military regime. Notwithstanding, your organization could care less about its reputation and still proceeded with doing business as usual with the government of Faure Gnassingbe, hosting him and his ministers very frequently to deliver truncated messages that aim at embellishing his bloodthirsty regime.
I would be less disgusted in you and your organization if you had shown some level of consideration for the abused people of Togo but I recall how on September 7th, 2017, when hundreds of thousands of my people mobilized in 14 cities to demand the departure of Faure Gnassingbe and the latter shutdown the internet and unleashed extreme violence on protesters, you granted an interview to German media DW in which you said and I quote: “He (Faure Gnassingbe) is a thoughtful man and has a bit of a vision for Togo. Some of it has been a bit more successful, about making Togo the Dubai of West Africa. “ Mr Vines, you must have a critical lack of scruples to make such statement about a country that is listed among the 10 poorest on the planet, about a president that is well known for his tyranny at a time that he was crushing civilians’ protests and the whole world was witnessing his repulsion for democracy, freedom of speech and association. Through that statement, you have earned a rightful place among the enemies of Togo and we are coming to demand justice.
This letter is meant to inform you Sir Vines that the exiled Togolese diaspora that has been denied the right to live in dignity and justice in our beloved country Togo will be at the Chatham House on Tuesday, June 4th 2019 to show our deep “love” for our dictator Faure Gnassingbe. Be prepared to welcome the very happily oppressed citizens of Togo at your event next Tuesday and mark my words: it will be the most memorable event of your career or should I say, Faure Gnassingbe’s lifetime.
We, the people of Togo, the hostages of the oldest military regime in Africa, the victims of one of the most repressive government in the world, shall give you a taste of what it feels like to enjoy freedom in a country like yours: The United Kingdom. We thank your ancestors for fighting to establish democratic rule in your country which we shall gladly and fully take advantage of come Tuesday, June 4th, to express our outcry against tyranny in our country Togo.
Till we meet on Tuesday Sir, please receive the very sour greetings of the Faure Must Go Movement.
Farida Bemba Nabourema
Spokesperson Faure Must Go!