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Togo: ICRC and Togolese Red Cross help victims of electoral violence

28-04-2005 News Release 05/31

Togo descended into violence on 26 April following the announcement that the candidate of the governing party had won the presidential election held two days before.

The election campaign and the poll itself had been marred by clashes in the capital, Lomé, and in some cities upcountry including Atakpamé (160 km north of Lomé) and Sokodé (350 km north of the capital). In response, the Togolese Red Cross mobilized over 900 volunteers throughout the country with financial and material support from the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The ICRC bolstered its team on the ground by sending four staff members to the country. One of them was a doctor who had carried out an assessment of the main health-care facilities in the capital just before the election. These facilities were provided with first-aid kits for treating 500 people. In addition, a surgical kit with supplies for 100 operations was given to the Lomé university teaching hospital on 26 April.

On election day and on the day results were announced, Red Cross teams took over 150 injured people in Lomé and the surrounding area to hospital in ICRC-provided ambulances. A quarter of them had suffered gunshot wounds. Elsewhere, first-aid workers took 10 wounded people to Atakpamé’s main medical centre on election day.

Because of persisting tension, Red Cross personnel will remain mobilized over the coming days.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Gérard Besson, ICRC Lomé, tel. +225 05 057 010  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 71