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Swede held in Togo on coup suspicions

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07:35 CEST+02:00
A 67-year-old man from Örebro in central Sweden is in prison in Togo in western Africa suspected of having helped plan a coup in his former homeland.

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.”

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.

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