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Western Togoland Secessionist Group Blocks Roads In Volta Region

Members of the Volta separatist, the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) on Friday dawn blocked some roads in the Volta Region of Ghana.

The police in a message on social media urged commuters to and from Accra to Ho, Aveyime, Adidome, Mepe, Akuse, Sogakope and Aflao to exercise caution as they were likely to experience traffic due to security operations within those areas.

Anybody travelling on any of these roads should exercise caution,” the police message said.

The HSGF, a group championing the secession of parts of Ghana along the border with Togo, declared independence for the territory they call ‘Western Togoland’ on November 16, 2019.

Their action of blocking the roads on Friday morning, they said were part of their agitations for independence from Ghana.

At Tefle and Juapong, the group amidst the burning of vehicle tyres and chanting of war songs took over the road and prevented vehicles from moving across.

Their action, which was simultaneously replicated in the areas started at dawn.

Travelers on the Accra-Sogakope road for instance were not able to move and were stranded.

The situation created traffic at both ends of the road.

In one of the areas at Aveyime, some three police officers were reportedly detained by the separatist group and two of them were reportedly injured.

One member of the separatist group in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM monitored by Graphic Online said “by God’s grace we have three of them [policemen] in our custody. I may say two of them are injured, one is alright.

 

“When they came, we are here to defend our land so at the police station of Aveyime we told them our land has been declared for independence, so we want them to move and leave our land for us peacefully.”

“Over there they started firing us and as I am speaking they injured four of our guys, so we too we managed to handle three of them, and two of them were still firing, and we also did what is expected to be done.”

“We have blocked the road to claim our land…since the authorities of Ghanaians have the audacity to lay embargo or injunction on all our declarations… so we wanted to prove to them for the whole world to hear us on what we have declared.”

“Our wish is for the President of this country [Ghana] to declare and surrender to us that, indeed we deserve independence, we want him to release us really, for peace.

Asked what they will do if the security agencies were to respond with force, he said:

“We are still waiting for them, we are not cowards. We are the great grand children of Togbi Tsali Aklomada and we are still waiting for them to come, soldiers can come, we are still waiting for them.”

REGSEC response

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM monitored by Graphic Online said he was coordinating the activities of the security personnel and that the situation would be brought under control.”

He urged those stuck in traffic to exercise some patience as the security personnel will soon bring the situation under control and clear the roads for the traffic to flow.

“The situation is complex, we can just move in and clear the roads but that is one aspect of the operation that is ongoing as I am speaking,” the Regional Minister said.

“The response of the security agencies will not be made public but we will only appeal to the motorists to be patient with us and to take good care of themselves as far as their personal security is concerned, we shall do everything to protect them.”

“I think majority of people in the Volta Region, if I say majority, 95, 98 percent of the people don’t support what is going on, infact many of the people in the region are very much embarrassed by the activities of these people,” Dr Letsa said.

He said there was an operation underway to get the three policemen who were in the custody of the separatist group released.

One eyewitness in a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM also monitored by Graphic Online said in the Juapong area, thousands of cement blocks were put on the road and the first vehicles that chanced on it, the mobile phones of those who were on board the vehicles were seized from them to prevent them from calling the security agencies.

Subsequently, all other vehicles that followed couldn’t get close to the exact spot of the blockade.

The eyewitness said around 5:30am, the police and the army officers came around to rescue the situation and when they came there, the separatist group were in the bush.

Around 6am, they reportedly emerged from the bush and walked away. The eyewitness said they were young boys aged between 15 and 18 and one elderly person who was about 45 years.

As of 7am, the Tema-Akosombo road had been cleared between Kpong and Atimpoku according to the eyewitness.

He said the separatist members hoisted their flags and inscriptions some of which read, “we are taking over our land” in the area.

At Sogakope, some stranded passengers said they heard gunshots and were scared to go near the separatist group.

 

Source: Graphic Online

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