The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to reoccurring political protests throughout Togo, some of which have been violent, especially in the northern city of Sokodé. This Travel Alert expires on January 29, 2018.
Many protesters and security force members have been injured, and some killed, during the demonstrations, which began in August 2017. Security forces have used excessive force to disperse crowds. There are reports that government-sponsored vigilantes are using violence and the threat of violence to disrupt protests and intimidate civilians.
Police often use tear gas to disperse demonstrations that cause traffic disruptions in city centers and along National Route 1 and arrest demonstrators. Authorities have also interrupted internet and cellular data services, making communications difficult and less predictable.
Rallies, demonstrations, and protests may occur with little notice and without authorization from government authorities. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid area of demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
- Have a communications plan that does not rely solely on cellular data.
- Avoid crowds and remain alert when traveling around the country.
- Monitor media and local information sources regarding protest-related developments, and have flexible plans for personal travel and activities.
- Report specific safety concerns to local law enforcement authorities.
- Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
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