In Togo, leaders of the Christian and Muslim religions pledge to work to prevent violent extremism and encourage the fight against this scourge. The country has been facing an upsurge in terrorist attacks for several months.

The League of Ulemas of Togo organized, from June 25 to 27, a workshop in Sokodé (Togo) on the theme “Islam is the religion that advocates peace”. This workshop takes place in a security context weakened by violent extremism, particularly in the far north of the country.

Thus, the Togolese government decreed, on June 13, a three-month state of security emergency in the Savanes region, an area located in the far north of the country. This region recorded, on Saturday, July 9, a third terrorist attack, which left at least seven dead and several injured. Earlier, two other attacks on the night of November 10-11, 2021, and on the night of May 10-11, 2022, caused the death of several people.

During their workshop, Muslim imams and preachers were made aware of the virtues of peace and its preservation. The initiative aims to get the ulama to preach more about the virtues of peace in their respective mosques. These religious authorities were invited to draw the attention of the Muslim faithful to the consequences of violent extremism and the urgency of contributing to social cohesion and living together.

“Our country has been facing recurrent insecurity lately. It is therefore important that each citizen contributes his stone to the construction of the country”, declared to the Togolese Press Agency (Atop), the president of the League of Ulemas of Togo, El Hadj Nada Abi Nouhoum. both to report to local authorities and law enforcement and security agents any suspicious presence in their neighborhoods. At the opening of the works, the representative of the mayor of the Tchaoudjo 1 commune, El hadj Nasser Issa-Touré, greeted and thanked the Muslim leaders for this initiative.

A few days earlier, the Conference of Bishops of Togo, during its 130th ordinary session from June 14 to 17 in Lomé, reflected, among other subjects, on the security issue in the country. The bishops received in the audience, the delegate of the Catholic Church within the Interministerial Committee for the fight and prevention against violent extremism (Ciplev). The latter presented to them the report of the activities in which he participated. On this occasion, the Episcopal Conference expressed its gratitude to the authorities for the structures put in place to prevent violent extremism and ensure the safety of the population.

Faced with the growing concern aroused by this situation, the bishops reflected on the contributions they could make in consultation with the leaders of other religious denominations and urged every citizen to become aware of the reality of the threat and to be vigilant.

In the press release published on June 17, the bishops thus invited “young people not to succumb to the temptation to be enlisted by extremist groups” and encouraged “leaders to continue their efforts in the fight against this scourge and the eradication of its causes, which are in particular the serious precariousness, the injustices, the frustrations, the crisis of confidence between the civilians and the soldiers, and between the citizens and the State”.