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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Togolese 'flee security forces'
Togolese arrive seeking refuge in a church at Hilla-Condji in neighbouring Benin.
At least 12,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries
Refugees fleeing post-election violence in Togo have accused security forces in the country of violence, according to the UN refugee agency.

At least 16,000 people have crossed the border from Togo into neighbouring Benin and Ghana, the UNHCR says.

Violence flared in the West African country after a disputed presidential election last week.

Regional diplomats have called for the creation of a government of national unity in Togo.

A delegation from the regional grouping, Ecowas, visited Togo on Saturday and held talks with the parties.

The diplomats have now gone to Niger to brief the organisation's current chairman, President Mamadou Tandja.


Some 9,000 men, women and children have already crossed the border into Benin and over 7,500 have sought refuge in Ghana.

Fati Kaba of the UNHCR told the BBC many of those leaving Togo are opposition supporters who say they have experienced abuse and aggression from the army and police.

Map showing location of Togo, Benin and Ghana

"The refugees are telling us that they fled because of fear that they could still be subject to more abuses by the army, the police, the gendarme," she told the BBC's World Service Newshour programme.

"Nearly all the refugees we speak to tell us of [the] army breaking into their houses, targeting young males, beating them, shooting at some when they meet resistance."

In last Sunday's poll Faure Gnassingbe, the son of the previous leader, won 60% of the vote - but the opposition insists the 24 April poll was rigged.

Scores have been killed during riots and property has been looted since the result was announced last week.


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