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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Government confirms refugee movement from Ghana to Togo


Government has confirmed a BBC report that several refugees from northern Ghana have been crossing over to neighbouring Togo to escape ethnic unrest at home.

Information Minister John Tia who confirmed the story to Joy News said although there has been some movement in recent days, the figure of 3500 cited by the BBC is an exaggeration.

Mr Tia said the refugees are mainly from some two communities the Bunkpurugu District of the Northern Region where recent ethnic clashes have led to heightened tensions.

“This movement has been going on but the figures they are mentioning around are alarming and that is not true because the [population of the two communities] is not up to 2000,” Mr Tia indicated.

“My checks with the Northern Regional Security Command and the Regional Minister do not indicate that the people are more than 2000 so how could we be having 3,500 from Ghana to Togo?”

The report published on the BBC website also said the Togolese authorities have already created temporary shelter camps in Tandjouare, a northern Togo town, for the fleeing Ghanaians.

“After visiting the camp, Security Minister Colonel Mohammed Atcha Titikpina said:

‘We have come in the name of the government of Togo to express our sympathies and solidarity with our [Ghanaian] brothers and sisters.

‘Our immediate task is to find the resources to provide these refugees with emergency relief supplies, security, feeding, clothing and temporary rehabilitation structures," the BBC story said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tia says government is moving in with food supplies as, so far, “life has returned to normal.”

“NADMO is moving in to assist those who were displaced and then there are talks going on among the Regional House of Chiefs and the traditional councils of the Bunkpurugu District,” Mr Tia stressed.

The story was blown out of proportion when the Togolese authorities started creating shelters to accommodate the Ghanaians, Mr Tia said.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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