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Peace and Security

UPF-Togo Sows Seeds of Peace and Reconciliation

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Lome, Togo - To help resolve the nation’s current social and political crises, leaders of UPF-Togo traveled to significant towns in the country during 2010 to sow seeds of peace and reconciliation.

UPF staff offered education in its peace principles, beginning with the traditional chiefs, because they play a dominant role in politics and society in preserving the customs and traditions of our people. The traditional heads are name by ministerial decree.  The second target audience were the political, administrative, and military authorities.

Anfoin - UPF held a gathering in Anfoin, a canton in southeastern Togo, on September 18. Rev. Dieudonné Sédofia Kagni, Secretary General of UPF-Togo, described the objectives of UPF, and Rev. Chang Soo Moon, senior advisor of UPF-Togo, presented a UPF flag to a representative of the Prefect. New Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.

Kara - Rev. Chang Soo Moon and Rev. Zinsou S. Paterne, the sub-regional director of UPF-West Africa 1, accompanied the UPF delegation on a September 12 visit to Kara, the second-largest city in Togo. About 400 km north of the capital, it is the main city of the Kozah Prefecture, which is the home of the current head of state, H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe. The gathering took place under the patronage of the Prefect of Kozah, H.E. Abolodjam Kadja, and the mayor of Kara, H.E. Essodna A. Amaou. The room was filled with the principal political, administrative, and religious authorities of the area as well as traditional chiefs. Other notables included Mrs.Essohanam Sama, President of the traditional canton heads of the Prefecture; the head of the Canton of Pya, native village of the Head of State; and Togbui Nukafu III, first Vice-president of the National Peace Council of UPF-Togo.

D'Agou-gnogbo - A UPF delegation visited D’Agou-gnobo, in the Agou Prefecture in southwest Togo, in August was to work for the reconciliation two rival traditional chiefs. This mission was accomplished thanks to the love of God and commemorated by a joint planting of a '”Tree of Love and Reconciliation.” Rev. Kagni and Togbui Nukafu addressed a gathering of administrative authorities and traditional leaders held in a Presbyterian church.

Mission-tove - We went to Mission-tove, a suburb northwest of the capital, Lome, on June 12 to meet with its head, a very eminent traditional chief. We talked about UPF’s peace principles and invited him to join the Ambassadors for Peace network.

Aného - The town of Aného, on the coast near the eastern border with Benin, was the first capital of Togo. UPF Ambassadors for Peace visited there to sow seeds of love and reconciliation between rival groups. A large crowd attended the gathering, including traditional chiefs and other local authorities. Among them were the High Chief of Guin, a major tribe in southeast Togo; a former member of the Constitutional Court of Togo; and an army colonel. UPF-Togo Ambassadors for Peace also raise donations to assist needy people, sometimes channeling donations through local churches that sponsor associations to help the needy. Ambassadors for Peace gave the Catholic Church of Aného, which sponsors orphanages, packs of cement, corrugated metal, and school stationery. The mayor and the Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic accompanied Ambassadors for Peace as they delivered the donations.

Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission - In order to help resolve the nation’s socio-political crises, the Togolese government established a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to investigate wrongs that took place after independence and compensate victims, promoting peace and justice. It is headed by Monsignor Nicodme Barrigah-Benissan, Bishop of Atakpam. The majority of the members of the commission are Ambassadors for Peace. Having almost the same objectives, UPF-Togo held a working session with the commission to share its vision with it.

International outreach - At the beginning of the year, the President of Mali, H.E. Amadou Toumani Touré, made a state visit to Togo. UPF Ambassadors for Peace and Rev. Kagni greeted him at the airport.

On another occasion, traditional chiefs from Togo had an opportunity to meet with traditional chiefs from Benin and learned, to their surprise, that many of them are also UPF Ambassadors for Peace. Rev. Kagni had the opportunity to address the meeting.

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