Family of slain Togo president seek France's help to solve assassination mystery


On January 13th 1963 the president of the West African nation of Togo, Sylvanus Olympio, who had been a prominent figure in that country's fight for independence from France, was assassinated in the capital Lomé. Though the killing shocked the world and marked the first coup d'État in post-colonial Africa, there has never been a proper investigation into who carried out his murder and why. Today, 58 years later, his family are still seeking to “know the truth” about Olympio's death. They are calling for access to France's official archives, hoping that diplomatic reports from the former colonial power will help shed light on this unsolved affair. Fanny Pigeaud reports.

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What happened in the immediate hours before the assassination of Togo's president, Sylvanus Olympio, on January 13th 1963, and who killed him? Fifty-eight years later, his family has still not had answers to these questions. Now, for the first time, his family is trying to gain access to official French archives from the period in the hope that diplomatic documents can shed light on this notorious unsolved case.