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Government ready for rights inquiry

Togo's communications minister, Koffi Panou, told IRIN on Wednesday the government was ready for an international inquiry into alleged human rights violations.

In a report published on Monday, the Ligue pour la Defense des droits de l'Homme au Benin, (LDH) said that bodies were found in the sea and on the beaches after Togo's disputed 1998 presidential election.

The report, based on interviews with fishermen and residents in a dozen coastal villages, alleges that corpses were washed up along Benin's beaches, and on one occasion, fishermen counted at least 60 bodies floating in the sea.

The report, which called for "an independent international commission of inquiry," resembles allegations made in early May by the human rights pressure group, Amnesty International (AI). The London-based body said that hundreds of people were killed in a wave of repression by the security forces during the 1998 elections in Togo. The government denied the AI allegations and has said it will sue AI for slander and libel.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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