Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou is a Togolese politician, humanitarian and businessman, studied in Dakar,Senegal and received a degree in organizational management from Sheck Anta Diop's University. After working for a number of pharmacies in Togo, he established a network of businesses in West-Africa, as a merchant of high-tech goods, representing brands from Europe. He does imports for himself as well as Imports and Exports for third parties.
In March 1990, Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou visited the Western region of Sudan, he arrived in the town of Rumbek,on the evening of March 30, on the same day a battle between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) had intensified around the government-held garrisons in South-Western Sudan. Many civilians were wounded ,the dying and the dead remained on the battlefield. As the war continued, a million have lost their lives either in battle, due to diseases,malnutrition or starvation. It has to be noted that in this war, with both the government and the SPLA using starvation as a weapon,more than 500,000 people were reported to have starved to death. Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou told several reporters that because of the war, Sudan is no place for children.
"The civil war in Sudan,has caused a number of social, cultural and economical problems for Sudan. I would like to give a short summary about the effect of this war on Sudanese children, in particular. Because children in southern Sudan are gravely affected by this conflict. Because of the war,there were many displaced children between the ages of 7 and 17. Most of these children had lost their parents in the war. Also,most of them have witnessed the killing of their parents. They were traumatized,but ever examined. They are totally tormented. These children do not have the chance to get education. The UNICEF calls these children "Lost children of the Sudan". Due to the war, these children are forced to walk a long distance looking for security, food and education. On their way, most of the children died of hunger,thirst, diseases and so on. A few of those survivor children did not learn anything other than war and destruction. I believe it will be very difficult to rehabilitate them. As a consequence of the war, Sudan is no place for children. I saw many orphaned children hunted by heartless soldiers in civil war, if they escape,they roam the desert looking for something to eat. These children are starving. It's easy to feel compassion for children in countries where catastrophes have isolated many people. Today the Sudan conflict is a complex emergency affecting children inside Sudan and more refugee children across the region. No one knows when or where the next crisis will strike. But we do know that children are greatly affected in times of crisis, and often suffer the most. That's why I want to put compassion into action by saving children's lives. For example , I plan to create a humanitarian organization that will work with children affected by armed violence in conflict-affected countries", Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou told reporters as he left the town of Rumbek after his visit to the Western region of Sudan.
After returning to Lome, Togo Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou decided to promote his ideas. He wrote a booklet about his experience,which he titled "Memory of Impact of War on Children".Within the booklet,he described the battle , its costs,and the chaotic circumstances afterwards. He also developed the idea that in the future a philanthropic organization should be created to promote healing and growth in children victims of Armed Conflicts and families by providing a continuum of care, support and resources. He distributed the booklet to many leading political and military figures in Africa. Here follows the extract of the booklet titled "Memory of Impact of Ward on Children" :
It is time for health professionals to define war as a serious global public health problem. This trip has really opened, my eyes and shown me the importance of love.
Sudan is no place for children,so,we don't have time to waste. In each conflict, numerous children are killed, wounded, or even exploited. Others are imprisoned, forced to leave their country to survive, or join the armed forces. Many find themselves orphans with no protection. However, any degree of increase in the suffering of children in war impels the world to take into account ways of removing the vector producing the suffering, war itself. We have to take the war out of the children.
The civil war in Sudan has significant impact on the health of children through the destruction of health service infrastructure and resource allocation decisions detrimental to children. Currently, the famine has been associated with excess mortality resulting from starvation and epidemic diseases. Each year, thousands of children are killed as a direct result of fighting from bullets and bombs,but many more die from malnutrition and disease caused by armed conflict.One of the most immediate effects of armed conflict is the disruption of food supplies. For example, in many countries, landmines prevent the use of agricultural land. Also, household income can have a dramatic effect in reducing malnutrition, especially during periods of crisis where food prices usually rise dramatically. Economic disarray heightens unemployment,reducing people's ability to buy food. Malnutrition can affect all children, but it causes the greatest mortality and morbidity among young children. Also, children suffer a range of war injuries. Certain weapons such as landmines, are more likely to kill or seriously injure children. Thousands of children suffer landmine injuries each year. Other millions of children are wounded,mutilated,or become handicapped as a result of the atrocities that they have had to live through. In addition, the family is essential to children' s care and protection is an important social, economic and cultural factor in child development. But during armed conflicts, a large number of children find themselves orphans after the death of their parents. Being so vulnerable and having an underdeveloped sense of danger, they accept any kind of work. Prostitution becomes a way to survive because the activity is extremely profitable compared to other forms of degrading work. Other children are forced to become soldiers and are sent into battle, or sent in the first wave to draw the enemy's fire. Because they are living in a difficult situation,children see these jobs as a way to resolve their problems. Other consequences can be added to this list. Children also need to have access to education and thus be able to go to school. But unfortunately, their schools and communities are torn apart by war. Also, the loss of sources of income and means of subsistence, such as the loss of land, can directly lead to reduced access to education, thereby creating a sense of precariousness in displaced individuals. Armed Conflict is a major problem that causes large-scale damage to children. So, when armed conflict kills and cripples more children than soldiers, the world has a special obligation to speak out. I mean war itself must be prevented. To conclude, here I will consider ways to prevent wars. To secure long lasting peace and prevent violence and conflict in the world, all sectors of society must come together to examine ways of removing the vector producing wars. In this way, they must implement peace and non-violence in their global approach to development efforts. Some of the substructure of cooperation and mutual understanding,through social cohesion and collective creation activities, can be laid in schools. All possible efforts should be made to undertake peace education in schools. Both the content and the process of education should promote peace, social justice,respect for human rights and the acceptance of responsibility. To achieve these goals,children need to learn the skills of negotiation,problem solving,critical thinking and communication that will enable them to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. After its successful conclusion, Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou founded the World Aid for Children, Inc , early in July 1992 and started protecting children from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. As founder and CEO of World Aid for Children,Inc, Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou has spent much of his career supporting, educating, serving and representing the needs of disadvantaged children. He serves to help disadvantaged children to become self-sufficient through educational and vocational training.
Complementary to his business network, Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou has an interest in politics. In 1990 , together with friends, he founded the Association of Struggle against Unemployment. As Togo transitioned from single party rule to a multiparty system , Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou took part in the Sovereign National Conference held from July 8 to August 28,1991, as head of the Association of the Struggle against Unemployment(ALC). This Conference put in place a new government and a transitional parliament, the High Council of the Republic (HCR). After president Gnassigbe Eyadema's party,the Rally of the togolese people (RPT) was banned by the transitional High Council of the Republic (HCR) in November 1991, soldiers loyal to president Eyadema began a siege of the Prime Minister of Togo,Joseph Kokou Koffigoh's residence. On December 3, 1991, soldiers succeeded in capturing the Prime Minister of Togo in a heavy assault involving tanks and machine guns on his official residence. Many people were killed in this attack, and Kodjo Amegnisso Tossou went into exile in Dakar,Senegal because of this violence.
He returned to Togo in April 1992 and founded the Togolese Liberal Party (Parti Liberal Togolais-PLT) , and has headed the party since then. He has remained a strong critic of the regime of General Gnassigbe Eyadema.