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The country Togo on the western coast of Africa between Ghana and Benin

President Gnassingbe Eyadema


During the 1700s the Coastal area of Togo was occupied by the Danes.

In 1847 Missionaries from the North German Missionary Society arrived in Togo to spread their faith.

1884 A German protectorate of Togoland was established, as part of German West Africa administrated from Duala in Cameroon. Forced labour was used to develop plantations throughout the country.

19th May 1885 the German chancellor Bismarck took possession of Cameroon & Togoland.

1891 Togoland became a separate colony, being run from its capital Lome.

1897 Franco-German agreement fixed its borders with Dahomey and Upper Volta.

1899 An Anglo-German agreement fixed its borders with the Gold Coast.

1905 Togoland was renamed Togo.

1914 British and French forces seize Togoland from Germany during the outbreak of the Second World War and divided it amongst them selves.

1922 The newly formed League of Nations issued mandates to Britain to administer the western part of the country and for France to rule the eastern area of Togo.

1934 Togo was annexed into French Dahomey.

1937 Togo was separated from Dahomey.

1955 Togo was granted political autonomy.

1956 The British ruled western territory was included into the Gold Coast and then later renamed Ghana.

1958 An election were held in the French section of Togo, and the National Union Party won its first election.

27th April 1960 the United Nations trust territory under French administration gained its independence, and Sylvanus Olympio became the countries 1st chief of state.

1960 Togo joined the United Nations.

1961 Sylvanus Olympio was elected as the countries first president.

13th January 1963 during a military Coup d’etat led by Lt. Col. Etienne Eyadema (29) President Sylyanus Olympio was assassinated and replaced by Nicolas Grunitzky. His first act in office was to suspend the constitution and institute direct military rule.

1967 After a bloodless Coup d'etat, Gnassingbe Eyadema seized power, and his first action was to dissolve all political parties in the country. Many of Eyadema’s political opponents went in to exile, some of their own free will while others made the move for fear of assassination. While in exile most would try and keep the subject of Eyadema’s reign of terror and miss management of the country in the world news headlines. However, at that time the country did not have anything of financial interest to countries like Britain and France, and so little notice was taken of their plight.

1974 the countries Phosphate industry and main export earner is nationalised.

1976 and secret reports started to surface of possible assassination attempts on Gnassingbe Eyadema life start to emerge. Lieutenant Colonel Tom Finan running a company known as Teshi Team International recruited four former SAS soldiers to conduct a feasibility study on the assassination of Gnassingbe Eyadema. They came up with the idea that a small well trained group of former service personal could take out the President quite easily.

Early in 1977 and Tom Finan tries to recruit the original four SAS soldiers he used for the feasibility study, to carry out the assassination attempt on Gnassingbe Eyadema, but the offer was refused. Finan then recruited 13 mercenaries to do the job. Almost all of whom were former members of the same Hereford based regiment as the original four SAS soldiers. However, the whole operation was called off after a couple of the mercenaries become drunk at a transit airport on the continent and were arrested.

September 1977 the whole project that had originally been penciled in for the 15th October was hand over to Harold Davidson also known as Darkie, and John Pace both were former SAS members. Again this operation was called off when the British secret service was tipped off. Not wanting the British government to be implicated because of the use of current serving SAS personnel. It’s believed that the paymaster come organiser for the attempt was president Gnassingbe Eyadema’s main rival for power Gilchrist Olympio, son of Sylvanus Olympiro the man whom Eyadema’s had over thrown. Gilchrist Olympio at the time was exiled in France.

13th October and the British tipped of Gnassingbe Eyadema of the attempt on his life. They also tipped of the press which started a multitude of conspiracy theory stories. At one time Colonel Gaddafi was even implicated which pleased Britain and France. However, it was made clear to the press that the soldiers implicated were not serving members of her arm service, but mercenaries.

During March 1978 Dave Tomkins was asked to conduct another feasibility study on the assassination of Gnassingbe Eyadema. After a few meetings with somebody in Paris, Dave accepted the offer. However, upon his return from Togo to hand over his report he is ripped off badly by the paymaster.

Later in September 1979 Tomkins sold the exact same information direct to Gnassingbe Eyadema and was rewarded handsomely, making his original trip to Togo well worth his time. To read a full and interesting account of what happened its worth reading Dave Tomkins book ‘Dirty Combat' Published by Main Stream Publishing Company Edinburgh 2008.

1978 the countries first Oil refinery began production in Lome.

1979 Gnassingbe Eyadema standing as a sole candidate was elected president in the first parliamentary polls to take place since 1967, and began a one-party rule over the country.

1985 A series of bombings took place during a failed coup attempt, reported to have been carried out by Gilchrist Olympio in the capital Lome. This time French troops came to the government's assistance. Togo also accused Ghana of involvement in the coup. Togo went on to shut its frontier with Ghana an action that lasted until late1987.

1986 The exiled opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio was sentenced to death in his absence for taking part in the 1985 coup attempt.

1986 Gnassingbe Eyadema was re-elected president over the country.

1991 After wide spread strikes and demonstrations, Gnassingbe Eyadema agreed to split power with a transitional administration pending free elections.

1992 A new constitution for the country was approved.

1993 President Gnassinghe Eyadema dissolved the parliament sparking protests and direct clashes with police causing political unrest. Thousands fled for their lives to neighbouring African states. France, Germany, and the U.S. all suspended aid to press for democratic reforms. Eyadema went on to conducted an election that was so riddled with fraud that the opposition refused to compete.

1994 Legislative elections in the country were marked by army violence and intimidation.

10th December 1996 The US refused to provide aid to Togo because of endemic corruption and repression, however France resumed a major aid program.

21st June 1998 Elections were held in Togo. When the returns showed President Gnassingghe Eyadama was trailing, one of his generals took over the ballot counting. The vote counting was stopped, and Gnassingghe Eyadema was declared winner. It was reported later that Soldiers had killed hundreds during the election.

24th June 1998 thousands protested the declared victory of President Gngassigbe Eyadema, who had ruled over the country for the past 31 years. European Union observers declared that the electoral process was flawed.

26th June 1998 the Ivory Coast's Alioune Blondin Beye, a diplomat from Mali, crashed in a small plane near Abidjan. He had just met with Togo President Gnassigbe Eyadema to support peace talks in Angola. The three other passengers were Koffi Adjovi of Togo, journalist Moktar Gueye of Senegal, and Baendegar Dessandre of Chad.

March 1999 Opposition parties boycotted parliamentary elections. The Union of Forces for Change was led by the exiled main rival Gilchrist Olympio.

29th July 1999 all opposition parties signed an agreement "to rise above the past and turn toward the future." The agreement noted the decision of President Eyadema not to seek another term or to rerun the March elections.

March 2000 the United Nations released a report alleging that presidents Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso and Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo both helped the Angolan rebel group UNITA get arms and fuel in exchange for diamonds. Both countries denied the accusations.

August 2001 the Opposition leader Yawovi Agboyibo was jailed for six months for libeling the prime minister.

June 2002 Gnassingbe Eyadema sacked his prime minister and ally Agbeyome Kodjo and said the action was in preparation for new parliamentary elections. Kodjo ridiculed the president and accused his aides of corruption and of human rights abuses.

27th October 2002 the Ruling party won parliamentary elections. While the major opposition parties staged a boycott in protest at the way the poll was organised.

December 2002 the Parliament altered the constitution, removing a clause which would have barred President Eyadema from seeking a third term in 2003.

13th January 2003 Togo’s President Eyadema celebrated 36 years in power with a military parade, a display described by opposition groups as "a sheer waste of time."

3rd June 2003 security forces arrested opposition leaders and beat their followers, moving out in force to quell protests of an election, the military ruler claimed to be winning. Eyadema was re-elected and Prime Minister Koffi Sama and his government resigned.

July 2003 President Gnassingbe Eyadema reinstated Koffi Sama as prime minister. A unity government was announced but the main opposition parties were not included.

September 2003 Togo sent 150 soldiers to Liberia to bolster a West African peacekeeping force.

November 2004 European Union restored partial diplomatic relations with the country. (ties were broken in 1993 over violence and democratic shortcomings).

5th February 2005 President Gnassingbe Eyadema died aged 69. His son Faure Gnassingbe was appointed president by the military, a move condemned as a coup and in total violation of the Togolese constitution. Under intense international pressure Faure finally stood down and agreed to hold presidential elections.

6th February 2005 the African Union accused military commanders in Togo of taking advantage of the death of the country's long-time leader to stage a coup and raised the possibility that its 53 members would not recognise the West African nation's new government.

7th February 2005  Faure Gnassingbe was sworn in as president of Togo, just two days after the death of his father.

10th February 2005 Togo government turned away an aircraft carrying Nigerian peacemakers, drawing threats of sanctions and accusations from Nigeria that it was blocking efforts to resolve a crisis widely condemned as a military coup.

25th February 2005 Faure Gnassingbe, whose father had been Africa's longest-serving leader, stepped down as a result of almost unprecedented African resolve against an old-style coup d'etat.

April 2005 Faure Gnassingbe won presidential elections which the opposition condemns as rigged. The vote was followed by deadly street violence between rival supporters. The United Nations later estimated that as many as 500 people were killed.

April 2006 Reconciliation talks between government and opposition resumed. (Dialogue was abandoned after Gnassingbe Eyadema's death in 2005).

August 2006 the Government and opposition signed an accord providing for the participation of opposition parties in a transitional government.

September 2006 Yawovi Agboyibo, a veteran leader of the opposition Committee of Action for Renewal, was named prime minister and asked to form a united government and to organise future polls.

February 2007 Exiled opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio returned home briefly from Paris France.

October 2007 Ruling Rally of the Togolese People party won a parliamentary election. Many International observers declare the poll to be free and fair.


‘Dirty Combat' by Dave Tomkins Published by Main Stream Publishing Company, Edinburgh 2008