Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Propaganda à la togolaise

In the wake of the death of Togo's strongman Gnassingbé Eyadéma, the world's second longest serving leader, and his succession by his son, I decided to check out the Togolese government's website. This was done for the sake of amusement. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Some of the headlines:

-Faure Gnassingbé: 'Elections as soon as possible'. Gnassingbé is the son of the late dictator and was installed as new leader by the military. This claim of new elections will be met with skepticism by any sane person.

-Normal resumption of activity. This story is in response to the two-day general strike called for by the opposition to protest the coup d'Etat. It's unclear if normal activity really did resume.

-Israel-Palestine: Gnassingbé salutes the cease fire. A pathetic attempt by Gnassingbé to portray himself as a normal leader, by commenting on far away events of little relevance to his country.

-A little decency, Mr Konaré!. This commentary takes to task Alpha Oumar Konaré, president of the African Union, who condemned Gnassingbé's accession to the throne as a military coup.

-Sharon and Abbas steal the headlines from Gnassingbé. The Togolese government has a bit of an overblown opinion of its country's importance in the international scene. Besides, there could be a threat of nuclear war and most western media outlets would still give saturation media coverage to the most miniscule Palestinian-Israeli event.

-Togolese deported to Nazi camps. A story on how some West Africans were killed in the Holocaust.

-And most tragically of all: Top Model: the missed rendez-vous. The pan-African beauty contest, to be held in Togo last weekend, was annulled only hours before opening after the announcement of Eyadéma's death.

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