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Togo files complaint against African Football Confederation after bus attack

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-04

Togo has filed a legal complaint before a Paris court against the African Football Confederation (CAF) for failing to protect its team from a deadly ambush as it travelled by bus to last month's Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

AFP - Togo has filed a legal complaint against the African Football Confederation (CAF) for failing to protect its team from a deadly attack as it travelled to last month's Africa Cup of Nations, legal sources said Thursday.

Togo's national football team was forced to quit the 2010 African Nations Cup on January 10 after two members of their delegation were shot and killed during an ambush as their bus arrived in Angola's restive enclave of Cabinda.

As Togo grieved the deaths and amid unheeded calls for CAF to cancel the tournament, Togo government officials ordered the team back to the country.

That decision not to participate, however, ultimately led CAF president Issa Hayatou to ban Togo from the 2012 and 2014 editions of the tournament because of "governmental interference".

The CAF's decision was met with widespread astonishment in Lomé and elsewhere.

The state of Togo and relatives of the two victims are now plaintiffs in a suit in a French court targeting the CAF and one of the two rebel groups which claimed responsibility for the attack, whose leader is based in Paris.

Relatives of the two victims hold the CAF responsible for "failing to assure the safety of the team from injury or death," a legal source said, although the French court must still determine whether it has the legal right to act upon the complaint.

The state of Togo also holds the FLEC-PM (Forces for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda-Military Position) responsible for "acts of terrorism", "assassination and attempts to assassinate".

In January French prosecutors said they may charge Angolan separatist Rodrigues Mingas, a French citizen who claims to be the head of the FLEC-PM, with "praising acts of terror".

Date created : 2010-02-04

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