The U.S. Embassy has learned that several Togolese opposition political parties have called for nationwide protests on October 4 and 5, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Major traffic disruptions are possible in Lomé both days, as three scheduled protest routes will affect many areas of northern and eastern Lomé. Protests in Lomé will also likely affect public bus and private taxi services. The U.S. Embassy will observe normal working hours on October 4 and 5.
The Embassy has also learned that opposition parties have called for protests in Vogan, Tagbligbo, Kpalimé, Atakpamé, Anié, Sokodé, Tchamba, Bafilo, Kara, Mango, Tandjouaré, and Dapaong. While the level of support for this week’s protests remains unknown, upcountry protests have previously caused disruptions to north-south travel along National Route 1.
While these events are normally peaceful, on August 19 in Sokodé and on September 20 in Mango, secondary cities of the interior, clashes related to the protests resulted in at least three fatalities and a number of injuries. Demonstrations that cause traffic disruptions in city centers and along National Route 1 are often dispersed by police with nonlethal measures such as tear gas, and sometimes result in arrests. Authorities have also interrupted internet and cellular data services, making communications difficult and less predictable.
- Minimizing travel in affected towns on October 4 and 5;
- Having flexible travel plans and reschedule travel along National Route 1 until a later date if possible;
- Having alternate communications plans that do not rely solely on cellular data;
- Exercising caution and being aware of your surroundings;
- Monitoring media and local news;
- Reporting specific safety concerns to local law enforcement authorities;
- Enrolling in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP).