AFRICA/TOGO - The population in Mango is shocked and traumatized, the Bishop asks for justice and respect of rights

Mango - Conflicts continue in the city of Mango, in northern Togo, due to the protests by opposition supporters who have been calling for a constitutional reform for months.
According to news gathered by Fides, thousands of people took to the streets in several cities in Togo, but the most serious incidents were recorded in the city of Mango, where demonstrators set fire to cars and homes. In several other northern cities of the country, including Bafilo and Dapaong, clashes between police and demonstrators have been reported.
"Mgr. Dominique Banléne Guigbile, Bishop of Dapaong, intervened immediately especially on what happened in Mango, in his diocese", says to Fides, Father Silvano Galli, missionary of the Society of African Missions , who sent the text of the Bishop’s message.
"The population of Mango and surroundings were deeply shocked, traumatized, and hurt by the state of urban guerrilla that has been going on for several days. These unfortunate events have further undermined peace and social cohesion already threatened by the repeated socio-political tensions that have been recorded in recent years. There is a climate of psychosis, fear, mistrust, and suspicion among the people, which dangerously compromise their fundamental and legitimate aspiration to fraternity and living together in respect of their diversity", reads Mgr. Guigbile’s message.
"As guide of God's people in this Region of Savannah, I express the compassion and solidarity of pastors, faithful and Christian communities of the Catholic Church to all those who have been touched by these events. We strongly condemn this indiscriminate violence and express our deep indignation at the brutality with which citizens are treated. We appeal to everyone's consciousnes and ask for fair justice for the victims; innocent people should not be punished; and the respect of rights and dignity of the person must be guaranteed to all", continues the Bishop.
"Finally, we invite all to renounce all forms of violence and to take resolute action on the path of truth, respect for others, tolerance, forgiveness and the culture of life together, necessary for peace and social cohesion that all Togolese seek.
We must disarm our hearts from destructive resentment and murders that undermine individual life and poison interpersonal and social relationships. The sacredness of human life, created in the image and likeness of God, is one of the fundamental values shared by all Togolese, regardless of their origins, religions, and group belonging . We seek to maintain this precious heritage, to be peace-makers, to promote life and to prevail over the culture of violence and death", concludes Mgr. Guigbile.