Over 500 Togolese seek refuge in Ghana - UNHCR

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

More than 30,000 people fled Togo to seek security in neighbouring countries when violence erupted with the announcement of election results on April 26, 2005. Refugees being assisted by UNHCR staff and immigration /  © UNHCR/D. Kamphuis

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working with the authorities in Ghana to support over 500 recently arrived Togolese asylum-seekers, fleeing the recent political unrest in their country.

So far, 513 asylum-seekers have been registered by the Ghanaian authorities, after arriving in remote north-western parts of Ghana, including Chereponi, Zabzugu and Bunkprugu-Yunyou. The majority of them are being hosted by local families and some in community centers. A joint UNHCR/Ghana Refugee Board mission is currently on its way to those remote areas to assess the situation.

Togolese seeking safety, including women and children, told UNHCR staff that they had fled on foot, walking from their homes in Togo’s Mango region, bordering Ghana. They said they were fleeing human rights abuses after the recent political protests.

Together with the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), UNHCR continues to monitor the situation and is working on a response plan in case of an increase of arrivals, including the prepositioning of relief items.

The Government of Ghana, with local authorities and host communities, is providing the recent asylum seekers with emergency humanitarian aid including food and non-food items.

There are also reports of nearly 30 recently arriving asylum-seekers in northern Benin. It is not yet clear if this is related to the current situation in Togo, while there are no reports of refugee/asylum-seekers arriving in Burkina Faso so far.

UNHCR is working with the authorities in Benin and Burkina Faso on emergency preparedness, including the development of contingency plans, in case of refugee influx in these countries.

 

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