Togo Exodus

Thousands have fled the violence in Togo to neighboring countries since last Sunday’s elections. Refugees are talking about the violence and especially the brutal attacks by the regime controlled military:

The number of people fleeing insecurity in post-election Togo has risen to more than 16,500, some of them citing harassment by security forces.

By this morning, more than 9,000 Togolese had been registered in Benin and some 7,500 in Ghana. Both countries bordering Togo have seen a growing influx of refugees since Togo’s election results were announced on April 26.

Fisherman Kouassi Kloussa, also from Aneho, arrived in Benin on Saturday with 14 other members of his family. To escape the harassment, he said, they swam 800 metres to safety and waited in muddy waters for a while. “My wife tied one of our three-year-old twins on her back and the other on her chest and we went into the water. As she swam, pitiless soldiers continued to throw tear gas at her and the boys,” he said.

The Opposition Party is not willing to unite with the regime in a joint government:

“We can’t go into government with people who stole from us. The results are fraudulent. We have to face up to it,” he said.

ECOWAS representatives did not make much progress with the two sides today. They are hoping to help the parties come to a solution in fear that the uprising may destabilize the region.

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