Togo National Liberation Day

Togo National Liberation Day

January 13
On January 13, 1967, Togo president Nicolas Grunitzky, of mixed Kabye, Ewe, and Polish heritage, was overthrown by GnassingbÉ Eyadema, who remained president of Togo until 2005. He was succeeded by his son Faure GnassingbÉ. Bowing to both internal and international pressure, Faure GnassingbÉ agreed to step down and hold a general election. He won that election and has ruled, despite opposition, as president. National Liberation Day celebrates the accession to power of his father, GnassingbÉ Eyadema.
To celebrate National Liberation Day, the Togo military joins with civilian bands to mount several colorful parades down the Boulevard du Mono in the city of LomÉ. Dissident groups have long opposed the celebrations, noting that January 13, 1963, saw the assassination of the nation's first president, Sylvanus Olympio. Because of the conflicting events that have happened on the same day in Togo history, President GnassingbÉ in 2005 took a step toward appeasing his critics by publicly calling Sylvanus Olympio the true father of Togo's independence. In 2008, he called for an end to the public celebrations on National Liberation Day. The army would celebrate the day quietly on their own military bases, while the civilian population was urged to pray for national reconciliation.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Republic of Togo in the USA
2208 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-234-4212