Negotiations on Togo collapse

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

COLMAR (AFP) - Peace talks in France between rival factions in Togo collapsed yesterday when delegations failed to agree on the army's neutrality and the delegation representing President Gnassingbe Eyadema left town. Ouattara Natchaba, the Foreign Minister who was representing the President, ignored a final appeal by France and Germany, the former colonial powers which organised the conference, for a final round of talks in hopes of breaking the deadlock.

The issue had been a stumbling block from the start of the talks on Monday in Colmar, and there was no headway despite 12 hours of negotiations. In Paris, a Foreign Ministry spokesman reiterated a French threat to suspend all assistance to Togo, and deplored the talks' collapse. France and Germany had suggested that the Togo armed forces be restricted to barracks under international supervision during an election. Mr Natchaba rejected this.