Terror in Togo

The military is brutally terrorizing the civilian population in Togo and thousands are fleeing to Benin and Ghana.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that more than 9,000 refugees had been registered in Benin and around 7,500 in Ghana. Many of the most recent arrivals were from Be, said Rafik Saidi, the agency’s regional representative.

Many of the refugees claimed they were harassed by security forces in Togo and some were suffering from bullet wounds.

The government last week put the casualty toll at 22 but a spokesman for the six-party opposition coalition, Yawovi Agboyibo, said this weekend that 106 people had died and hundreds had been injured.

At the offices of Togo’s Human Rights League, one man told IRIN that his brother had been shot dead at 10 p.m. on Sunday “by men in fatigues”. His wife and four children were beaten up so badly that one daughter was in hospital and his 14-year-old son could no longer see.

“We don’t know why, they said nothing. They just stormed into the house. Now my brother is in the morgue,” said the resident of the Lome suburb of Baguida, who did not want to be identified.
TOGO: More than 16,500 flee as edgy Lome awaits official poll results – IRIN, 2 May 2005

It would appear as if the military is intentionally stirring up this conflict ahead of the announcement of the official “election” results. The RPT must love all the footage on CNN and the BBC of screaming opposition protesters with burning barricades in the background. That way they can be seen as “restoring order” when they shoot unarmed civilians.

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