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Swede held in Togo on coup suspicions

TT/David Landes · 5 May 2009, 07:35

Published: 05 May 2009 07:35 GMT+02:00

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Previously, Seidou Issifou was a high-ranking officer in Togo’s army, but fell into disfavour and was jailed.

Issifou and his family later fled Togo. They have been living in Sweden since the early 1990s and are Swedish citizens.

His daughter, 35-year-old Rissa Seidou, tells the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper that her father was arrested during a recent visit to Togo.

On April 12th, a firefight erupted in the capital city of Lomé, after which president Faure Gnassingbé declared that an attempted coup had been thwarted.

Issifou is being held together with a group of officers, charged for having planed to seize power in Togo.

His daughter is convinced the charges against Issifou are false.

“I’ll bet my live that he wasn’t involved in a coup,” she told SvD.

“He’s retired and wants to spend time with his family and take it easy, not get involved with things like this. He absolutely doesn’t want to run a country.”

Story continues below…

Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed for SvD that a Swedish citizen has been arrested in Togo suspected for assisting in a coup.

As Sweden lacks an embassy in Togo, the foreign ministry has asked for France’s help in the matter.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 May 5, 2009 by Faunaman
I certainly wouldn´t call him a swede from Örebro, I would call him a Togo citizen with swedish nationality who has lived in Örebro for less than 1/4th of his life. Please guys, don´t be so sensationalist.

The truth behind this news is "A man from Togo arrested for planning a coup in his own country"

So...what the hell is this about?

If swedish governement is to waist a minute or a krona in this case, the taxpayers should set the riksdag on fire......
10:03 May 5, 2009 by Emfa
Yes this is a togolese citizen with the favours of a Swedish passport. I remember reading a long story about a "Swede" held in Somalia (or Kenya) on terror charges to later find it was actually a Somali with Swedish citizenship.

I don't understand why Sweden would be concerned about what happens to a soldier who returns to his own homeland (that he fled) to try and seize power. Unless he was abducted from Sweden and flown into his country by force.
10:59 May 5, 2009 by bolababu
I am convinced that some retards like to open their mouths even when they have nothing to say.

Even if these people were from other countries as we already know, they have been granted Swedish citizenship, they live in Sweden, work in Sweden and pay their taxes in Sweden.

It should concern the government when something happens to them because they hold Swedish nationalities and thus could bring the country to disrepute. Spending Swedish money on them is a right according to law as they are innocent until proven guilty. Same applied to the "Swedish Swedes" arrested in phillipines for running a brothel and taking advantage of young women in their own country.
13:46 May 5, 2009 by Faunaman
Bolababu... you are the first retarded, we all know what citizenship entitles to, other issue is if every friking refugee in the world should get the swedish nationality.

The second retarded is the such Seidou Issifou, being an ex-convict military in Togo and coming back for who knows what reason. Maybe he was really there planning a coup despite his daughter´s tears and pleas.

Clearly, he wasn´t there to take pictures of the tourist attractions so we must let these people (the Togo tribe) discern the problem. He should have stayed in Örebro and not cause a diplomatic crisis.
17:08 May 5, 2009 by bolababu
Your words give you away better than you know, you obviously know nothing about diplomatic protocols or your own laws for that matter.

Refugee or not, living in Sweden for a stipulated period of time qualifies you for a Citizenship status as long as you have no criminal records whatsoever.

Because he is Togolese, you have judged him to be guilty already. If he was a real Swede, of course you would think he was framed. He lives in Sweden but surely has ageing family members in Togo that need attention and for us who still value family ties, that is more important than hiding.

Your words give a definite description of who you are, .. Xenophobic Racist!
17:48 May 5, 2009 by Mzungu
Where there is smoke there is fire!

Other than that one must admit he was rather a twit returning to Togo,seeing his military background,for any reason other than he made more enimies than friends while in the army.

*know Africa, then one will understand*
18:01 May 5, 2009 by double concerto
The "retards" are the Swedish authorities for taking the blagger in in the first place. I wonder how much in taxes he has paid and I wonder how much welfare he has taken for himself and itinerate family.
09:46 May 6, 2009 by Stockholmer
I must confess I am impressed by the refugees that once have left their country of origin because their lives were at threat after just a few years in Sweden are so brave that they dare to return. Must be something in the Swedish culture that helps them? Or is it the climate?
11:35 May 6, 2009 by double concerto
How many return??? very , very few and only then with their arm up their back in forcible returns has been my observation in the REAL world.
16:37 May 6, 2009 by Stockholmer
If you were referring to my post:

This Togo-man returned, not permanently of course, but dared to visit the country that was so horrible that he had to escape. Has Togo become so much more friendly or is it something that happens when he has lived in Sweden long enough to get a PUT?

I understand this happens with fairly many of the refugees - once they have recieved a PUT back home is no longer dangerous. Wonder how it works?
17:49 May 6, 2009 by double concerto
I'm based UK. Would be grateful if you could explain what a PUT is. I have a suspicion of what it means but would appreciate an explanation.
22:23 May 6, 2009 by one-day1
The arrest of Seidou Issifou shows how Togo is a despotic government. When I was studying in Togo, I would join my fellow students in a rally to allow voting. For the most part, it would not do anything. To this day, it still does not do much. The most we had achieved out of this rallying of students was a horrid beating or happy-trigger gunfire from several nearby government guards, which killed a few of my rally friends.

With Swedes or Americans, I do not believe they have the same worries as most Togolese. Living in fear of the dictatorship government could do anything they desire with our life is very stressful. Eventually, you adapt to the lifestyle that death,arrest and beating can come at anytime. While in Sweden, the government acting tyrannically is not too much of an issue because it is not imminent nor is it planned to be. If it were, I doubt there would be as many people here as there is now, included Seidou Issifou and his family.
22:24 May 6, 2009 by one-day1
. The government of Sweden and his people has to help in order to free Seidou Issifou.

By no means am I angry but more slightly surprised how some of those Swedes who posted comments have limited knowledge of my home I had lived all my life. Without any knowledge of Togo, some Swedes found Seidou Issifou to be guilty of planning military coup. First hand Stories about Togo is not sunshine and rainbows. In Togo, again, you cannot dream to become a president. I say dream. If anything, living in Sweden is much better for reasons known by practically every foreigner who lives there: briefly and generally put, the opportunities for growth. In my experience, it feels most Swedes take this feeling of freedom for granted. I do not and feel proud to have this feeling of freedom every day I am here in the U.S.A.

One day things will turn around and I'm very sure that' is why Seidou Issifou went to Togo to see what he can do for his beloved country Togo.
21:41 May 7, 2009 by hardwood
faunaman or should i just call u floraman; u really think sweden is doing so many immigrants the greatest favor taking them in. Are u gonna start comparing how many immigrants are settled allover europe in relation to sweden? with a measly populace of 10 million, sweden is way back in terms of refugee influx, intergration and acceptance.

u're just like most swedes; a jack of all trades but amaster of none. learn your laws first
12:36 August 8, 2009 by benomax
A lot of people are ignorant of the constitution of the land which is really sad. When one becomes a citizen of a country, no matter where he is from, he automatically becomes a citizen. Stop this racial behaviour, there are Sweds in America and other countries who decided for one reason or the other to take their nationality, the constitution recognised them as citizens. I guess some people should go back to school and learn more, be polite, be civilized and stop this racial bad behaviour. What makes America to be great today is the diversity of culture, people migrated from Europe and other parts of the world to become citizens of America, should they be called Europeans living in America, Canada or what? grow up people and make this world a better place for every one regardless of race, colour or what ever. God created the whole world and God hates discrimination, the law of the law also hates it.
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