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Togo villagers flee to urban centres after militant attacks

Togo villagers flee to urban centres after militant attacks

CIVILIANS in a part of northern Togo attacked by suspected Islamist militants last week have been fleeing their homes en masse to seek refuge in nearby cities, a local mayor said. More than 25 people were killed in the attacks on four villages in the Kpendjal district, near the border with Burkina Faso, two local activists told Reuters. The government said a number of people were killed but did not say how many. "People are leaving their villages en masse," Arzoume Sambiani, the mayor of a part of Kpendjal, said in a statement on Monday. He urged civilians to return…
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Eight soldiers killed in Togo, raising spectre of first deadly Islamist attack

Eight soldiers killed in Togo, raising spectre of first deadly Islamist attack

EIGHT soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in an attack in northern Togo, the government said, marking potentially the first deadly raid on its territory by Islamist militants who have killed thousands in neighbouring countries. Before dawn, a group of heavily armed gunmen ambushed an army post in the Kpendjal prefecture near the border with Burkina Faso, the government said in a statement. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The government blamed "terrorists", without providing specifics. Security analysts said the attack was likely carried out by a local al Qaeda affiliate that is based in Mali but in…
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Charity uses mobile phone data to identify aid recipients in Togo

Charity uses mobile phone data to identify aid recipients in Togo

SONIA ELKS A U.S.-based nonprofit that is using algorithms to identify people living in extreme poverty by analysing their mobile phone habits has made direct cash payments to 30,000 people as part of a pioneering project in Togo. GiveDirectly worked with the government of the West African nation and experts at the University of California, Berkeley, for the high-tech approach to find some of the country's poorest people. They use satellite data to identify poor areas, and then harness machine learning to comb mobile phone metadata to identify those living in extreme poverty. Potential recipients are contacted by phone and…
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Togo names new government with record number of women ministers

Togo names new government with record number of women ministers

TOGO’S  first female prime minister has appointed a new government with a record 30% of the 33 ministerial positions given to women, according to the cabinet list announced on state television. Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah-Dogbe, who was appointed earlier this week after the resignation of the previous government, named Essozimna Marguerite Gnakade as defence minister - the first time a woman has held that role. President Faure Gnassingbe The change in government had been expected since President Faure Gnassingbe won re-election in March, extending his 15-year rule and a family dynasty that began when his father took power in a…
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