While the majority of the 10,000-12,000 people internally displaced by the political crisis that erupted in Togo in April 2005 have returned to their homes – with no more than 3,000 still displaced – the ongoing shaky political and security situation continues to impede full-scale return (OCHA, 20 September 2005). Some 40,000 Togolese also remain refugees in neighbouring Benin and Ghana, after fleeing the violence triggered by disputed presidential elections in April. A newly published report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, highlights the “massive nature and gravity of human rights violations as evidenced by the high number of victims – between 400 and 500 dead and thousands wounded” (OHCHR, 29 August 2005). The government of Faure Gnassingbe has disputed the findings of the UN report (Government of Togo, 27 Sept. 2005). The Interior Ministry previously claimed the death toll was 69. Meanwhile the government’s High Commission for Refugees and Humanitarian Action, mandated to “ensure protection and assistance to repatriated persons”, has done little to create confidence to return (Government of Togo, 9 June 2005).
Read previous news article: Togo: thousands of internally displaced still afraid to return home (June 2005)