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ECOWAS moves to ensure security in Togolese polls
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08:23, October 04, 2007

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has deployed a military team to monitor the Oct. 14 parliamentary elections in Togo.

The 140-member mission, which was officially presented to the public for the first time on Tuesday, is made up of both military and civilian observers and will be in charge of ensuring that the elections are held under the best possible security conditions.

Among other things, the mission is charged with preventing trouble and violence through the collection and dissemination of information regarding security threats and potential trouble-makers.

By working closely with both ECOWAS and Togolese authorities, it is hoped that the team, which is mandated to monitor the general situation before, during and after the elections, will contribute a great deal in mitigating security risks, threats and cases of violence.

Led by Burkina Faso's army chief Col Kodio Lougue, the team to be deployed across the entire country from Oct. 2 until the proclamation of final results of the polls is also going to be reinforced with naval team.

The observers have established a national communication center in addition to five regional coordination centers.

Speaking during the presentation, Togolese security minister Col Atcha Titikpina, ECOWAS special envoy to Togo Maiga Manga and Tozim Potopere, president of the Togolese Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), were united in hailing the role that will be played by the mission in ensuring that the polls will be transparent, free and fair.

The three called on all the political parties and independent candidates taking part in the elections to demonstrate responsibility in all their actions during the entire electoral period.

The ECOWAS team will be joined by a number of other teams notably from the European Union, whose mission is already on the ground and the African Union.

Meanwhile, the CENI, which is charged with the overall task of organizing the entire voting exercise, announced Tuesday that about 3 million voters had registered to take part in the polls.

Source: Xinhua



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