The disclosure (April 1991) of killings allegedly by security forces set off huge, violent demonstrations against the military-controlled government of President Gnassingbe Eyadema (1937-) of Togo (formerly French Togoland), on the south coast of West Africa. Under much public pressure for democratization, Eyadema then legalized opposition political parties and was forced (due to a general strike) to convene a national conference, attended by both military and civilian representatives (July-August 1991). Soldiers failed to halt the conference, which declared itself sovereign; civilians formed a governing council, with free multiparty elections set for 1992 (later postponed). At the conference, militant troops invaded but withdrew through a show of civilian strength. Eyadema remained nominally president, and his loyal troops later (October 1992) occupied the National Assembly building in Lome, the capital, holding civilian legislators hostage until they agreed to unfreeze the assets of Eyadema's party, the Rally of the Togolese People. Pro-Eyadema forces later attacked and killed opposition leaders, pro-democracy demonstrators, and dissident soldiers and others (1993-94), securing President Eyadema's hold on Togo's government.