Togo: 1,000 arrivals registered in Benin in last week, none reported in Ghana

Briefing Notes, 3 June 2005

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 3 June 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The number of refugees fleeing from Togo into neighbouring Benin is continuing at a steady rate, with over a 1,000 new arrivals registered in the last week. By contrast, in Ghana on Togo's western border, no new arrivals or returns have been noted over the last 10 days. The overall total of refugees in both countries is 35,743, compared to 34,416 a week earlier. There are 15,144 refugees registered in Ghana and 20,599 in Benin.

Refugees arriving in Benin, say they are fleeing continued abductions and disappearances by armed groups in the night which is fuelling an atmosphere of fear and revenge.

In Benin, about a third of the refugees are in two camps, while the remainder are staying with friends and family. In Ghana, where nearly all refugees are staying with host families, UNHCR, along with its partners, are providing the families and refugees with various forms of support to enable to refugees to continue to stay in this welcoming community atmosphere. Communities are being helped with items such as hand pumps to improve the water supply, food, building tools, construction advice, mosquito nets.