U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Benin
|Publisher||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|
|Publication Date||20 June 2001|
|Cite as||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Benin , 20 June 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b31e15e18.html [accessed 23 July 2016]|
Benin hosted nearly 5,000 refugees at the end of 2000, including about 1,000 from Togo and some 3,000 from various other African countries.
Refugees from Togo
Approximately 1,000 Togolese refugees lived in Benin at year's end. Several thousand more unregistered Togolese refugees might have remained in the country, according to government estimates.
Most Togolese refugees fled to Benin in 1993 amid an influx of up to 150,000 people who were trying to escape the Togolese government's violent resistance to democratic reforms. Most Togolese repatriated by 1997.
A small number remained in Benin during 2000 because they were prominent opponents of Togo's ruling party and were unlikely to repatriate safely. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has concluded that many of the remaining refugees warrant permanent resettlement in other countries as the best durable solution to their situation. About 500 Togolese refugees departed Benin for formal resettlement in the United States during 2000.
Some of the refugees lived in a camp near Cotonou, the capital. Others lived on their own in Cotonou, where they supported themselves with minimal assistance.
Several thousand refugees from various countries lived in Benin during 2000, including many from central Africa. About 2,000 new refugees and asylum seekers arrived during the year.
"Benin continues to adhere to a very generous asylum policy allowing refugees access to social and economic benefits on a par with nationals," UNHCR reported late in the year. The government has offered to provide permanent resettlement to as many as 240 refugees unable to remain in other asylum countries.
The country's largest refugee camp, Kpomasse, located 30 miles (50 km) from the capital, housed about 1,000 refugees and provided programs to prepare residents for integration into local communities. Refugees in urban areas received financial support to pay for education and medical needs.