30.04.2005 Togo

Togo refugees flood Kadzebi, Hohoe districts

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Kadjebi-Obuasi (V/R), April. 30, GNA - A total of 1,502 refugees, including 75 Ghanaians, had been identified at various communities in the Kadjebi and Hohoe districts at the close of Friday April 29, this year.

The Kadjebi District recorded 908 with Obuasi registering 104, Tsotorme, 315, including 75 Ghanaians, Ahamansu 50 and Adakope/Awudome identifying 142 people.

The Hohoe District registered 694 refugees with the break down as follows: Likpe-Todome 418, Likpe-Bala, 134, Likpe-Mate 14 and Wli 128. Most of the refugees in the two districts are women and children. Briefing Captain (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr Kudzo Asoglah, a Spokesman of the group said they had to flee Togo because of intimidation by gun wielding Togolese soldiers who besieged Kisibo and Kpele in Togo, shooting indiscriminately into the air while they seized ballot boxes during last Sunday's election. He said these incessant brutalities and harassment endangered their lives and sent them seeking refuge across the border. Mr Soglah said some of the refugees came with various degrees of injury.

Mr Kofi Adjei-Ntim, Kadjebi District Chief Executive (DCE), remarked that the situation at Tsotome was challenging because the community was not accessible by road but only on foot through the mountains covering four kilometres. He said some refugees who had allied families were putting up comfortably with them while the majority were sleeping in open classrooms with its attendant problems.

Mr Adjei-Ntim said there was pressure on food and water in the area, which needed urgent attention.

Captain Effah-Dartey assured the refugees that government and its agencies responsible for refugees were seriously working around the clock to bring them assistance.

He, therefore, appealed to them to comport themselves and refrain from acts, which were likely to endanger their security and that of host country, Ghana.

The Deputy Minister asked the media to exercise decorum in their reportage on issues bordering on national security to avoid creating panic. Mr Joseph Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, said reports of gunshots across the border from Togo hitting three people at Aflao for allegedly hooting at Togolese soldiers were intriguing. He said in as much as hooting at the soldiers was not right, shooting into hapless civilians was also a mark of un-professionalism, which must be punished.

Mr Nayan urged the public to refrain from such acts as the people in Togo were in difficult times and distress. Dr Kofi K. Manfo, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, urged security personnel along the country's frontier to collaborate and search for arms and ammunition among the refugees. Mr K. Bawumiah, an official of the UNHCR, said Adidome in the North-Tongu District, Metrikasa in Ketu-District and Jasikan had been earmarked as camps for refugees.

Other members of the entourage were Mr Prosper Asima, Deputy Director on Immigration, Operations, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Yanyi-Akorfur, Commander of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho, Mr Patrick Dogbe, Deputy Volta Regional Commander of Customs and officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

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