200 Lankan refugees in Togo enduring miserable conditions

- sundaytimes.lk

The 200 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stranded in West Africa are enduring miserable conditions in Togo, the BBC reported.

They say they are living on meagre rations and face the prospect of imminent deportation home.

The refugees say they are being detained by the army in an open sports stadium in the capital Lome.

The Togo authorities have declined to comment on their claims.

Those being held under tight security in Togo told the BBC by telephone that they were hoping to get to Canada by boat from Ghana after travelling through India and Ethiopia.

But they say that they were tricked by their agent - who has now vanished.

He was supposed to have arranged their journeys, but instead "dumped" them in Togo after charging them $6,000 (£4,000) each.

The detainees - who include 19 women and 11 children - say they have to endure bad weather and humiliating treatment by guards at the stadium.

They say they are facing deportation even though many are suffering from malaria and have not received any medical treatment.

"Every morning we are woken early and made to sweep the entire stadium and clean the toilets used by the military," another camp inmate said.

It is expected that the first group of 28 refugees could be made to return as early as 4 February.

-  BBC

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