28 Sri Lankan migrants stranded in Togo to return home

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© Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/IRIN

Small groups of migrants are crammed into 46-foot fibreglass boats such as these vessels, while bigger trawlers are used to ferry larger numbers

A group of 28 Sri Lankan migrants who've been stranded in Togo are returning home on Saturday with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

According to the IOM, the Sri Lankans are part of a larger group of 209 migrants who were intercepted by the authorities in the West African country in November.

The agency says the Sri Lankans, who entered the country on tourist visas, have been detained at the stadium in the capital Lomé.

IOM spokesman Jean Philippe Chauzy says the information about the migrants is scant but it appears that they had paid money to smugglers who promised to take them all the way to Canada.

"It appears they probably transited through Ethiopia. There again we cannot confirm that information and then they flew to Lomé, Togo. It seems that from there they were hoping to get to neighbouring Ghana but then again we can’t confirm that for sure, and possibly, they were hoping to get onto a boat and sail towards Canada across the Atlantic."

Duration: 21"

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