Five Suspected Western Togoland Separatists Arrested In Denu

Police in the Volta Region have arrested five persons suspected to be members of the Western Togoland secessionist group in Denu.

The arrest comes after the Denu Divisonal Police Command received a tip-off that some heavily built men have been sighted in the house of a former Assemblyman for Denu, Francis Bedzo.

Police stormed the said house and arrested Torgbui Bokor Dotse Aba, 45 (spiritualist) from Tsiame, Isaac Norvinye Agbesi, 28 from Bator Zomayi and Avanyee Korku Godwin, 31 from Woe.

A sixth suspect, Raphael Zokpo, 20 from Tsiame however managed to escape during the arrest.

Police retrieved four locally made short guns with 200 BB cartridges in eight packs.

Police also allegedly found on the phone of suspect Isaac Norvinye Agbesi, pictures of him and others undergoing military training with weapons at an undisclosed area as well as an audio recording which he was heard announcing to his colleagues to attack police and other security agencies for weapons during the insurgence.

The Homeland Study Group wants the Volta, Oti, and parts of the Upper East Region to be made an autonomous country to be known as Western Togoland.

The group has made a number of attempts to push its agenda.  Last year, the group blocked some major roads that connect Volta Region to Ghana’s capital city, Accra.

Members of the separatist group even declared independence for the imaginary Western Togoland country on May 9, 2019.

In October 2020, the government of Ghana arraigned 78 of the alleged separatists suspected to be behind the violent attacks in the Volta Region.

They were charged, variously, with; treason felony, conspiracy to commit crime, namely, treason felony,  conspiracy to commit crime, namely, participating in a campaign of prohibited organization namely Western Togoland, conspiracy to commit crime, namely, causing unlawful damage.

Under an amended charge sheet, the State also told the Accra Circuit Court 2 that it had no jurisdiction to grant the suspects bail since the crimes were not committed within the authority area of the court.

The state subsequently withdrew charges against 60 of those arrested.

Other attacks by secessionists

The activities of the group sparked some other incidents in the region including a raid by some secessionists on the Aveyime and Mepe police stations which led to the release of cell inmates and the theft of 10 assault rifles.

Police officers were also injured in the ensuing confrontations, whilst two persons were killed.

Security personnel also said they foiled a plan by the group to burn down the Ho Central Market and other key installations.

The Homeland Study Group Foundation, however, denied any involvement in the violent incidents.

Its leader, the late Charles Kudzordzi, popularly known as Papavi, said his group had been pushing for a dialogue with the government of Ghana but to no avail.

Credit: Citi News

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