Death Squadrons (Togo)

Country: Togo
Details of Formation: The group was created by the ruling party Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais (RPT) in the wake of elections in April 2005.
Details of Termination: There is no information of the group being terminated. The last mention of activity was reported in 2012.
Purpose: Death Squadrons were created to counteract political opponents of the ruling party RPT. Most violence and activities reported about this group occurred when Faure Gnassingbé, the son of deceased head of state Gnassingbé Eyadéma, was announced the winner of the presidential election in 2005. The group violently interrupted opposition meetings or anti-government protests. They have so far successfully fulfilled their purpose as President Faure Gnassingbé still remains in power.
Organisation: The group is organised by the ruling party.
Weapons and Training: The group is armed by the ruling party. Members of the Death Squadrons are armed with machetes, batons, hoes and clubs and sometimes guns.
Size: One source suggests that Death Squadrons comprise around 500 men.
Reason for Membership: Members of the Death Squadrons are loyal to president Faure Gnassingbé.
Treatment of Civilians: The opposition party UFC accused the RPT of employing its militia to impose beatings, arbitrary arrests, humiliation and intimidation of students. RPT however denies the arrest of opposition members.
Other Information: Gnassingbé announced the dissolution of his party RPT and replaced it with the new ruling party Union pour la République (UNIR).
References: Information was taken from news sources listed on the PGMD