Togolese and Gabonese presidents meet in Libreville

BY BBC

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé met with Gabonese President Ali Bongo in Libreville, Gabon on Tuesday, May 7 to exchange views on “terrorist” threats that have begun spreading across African countries.

The meeting which took place at ‘Palais du bord de mer’ in Libreville discussed the need for countries to raise their guard in the face of rising terrorism, which according to the Presidents, has sown desolation and pain in the hearts of families and put peace policies implemented by African states to the test.

President Faure Gnassingbé disclosed that he and his Gabonese counterpart also discussed the current situation of the Sahel region was on the menu.

We mentioned the difficult situation in the Sahel region, which unfortunately is starting to affect countries much further south, notably Togo. We ourselves have dismantled a few terrorist cells, unfortunately there were the two French tourists taken hostage in Benin. The threat is getting closer to our country, so it

“We mentioned the difficult situation in the Sahel region, which unfortunately is starting to affect countries much further south, notably Togo. We ourselves have dismantled a few terrorist cells, unfortunately there were the two French tourists taken hostage in Benin. The threat is getting closer to our country, so it has been necessary – as I said – that we strengthen regional cooperation.

“When it started in Mali, no one thought that a country like Togo or Benin could be affected. So it is not out of the question – for the countries of Central Africa – that these countries could be affected in the future, it is absolutely essential that we can be able to anticipate.”

Gnassingbé was meeting face-to-face with Bongo for the first time after the Gabonese head of state’s health scare in October 2018.

“I have come in response to an invitation from my brother and friend President Bongo. I myself was quite impatient to see him, as since his health problem I had been able to have a telephone conversation with him, which had already reassured me, but it is always nice to be able to come and I thank him for giving me this opportunity. I was relieved and reassured to see him in good health.”

Bongo’s prolonged absence due to ailing health stoked concern about power vacuum, apparently sparking a brief attempted coup by renegade soldiers on January 7.

Bongo took office after an election in 2009 that followed the death of his father, former president Omar Bongo, who took office in 1967.

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