Ghana arrests 8 separatists


Added 6th May 2019 08:24 PM

The group formed in 1994 says it works to advance the rights of the people in eastern Ghana

Eight men have been arrested in Ghana for preparing to declare an eastern region as an independent country, police said Monday.

The men, who were reportedly leading a campaign for a separate nation called "Western Togoland", were arrested on Sunday in the town of Ho, some 150 kilometres (95 miles) northeast of the capital Accra.

"We had intelligence that the group was meeting to finalise arrangements to declare that part of the country independent, and name it Western Togoland," police spokesman David Eklu said.

"We found in their possession their prepared constitution and anthem," he said.

Police said the men, part of group called the "Homeland Study Group Foundation", or HGSF, had also been training a militia force.

The group formed in 1994, and says it works to advance the rights of the people in eastern Ghana, which it calls Western Togoland.

In 2017, HGSF leaders were arrested and warned not to engage in activities against the state.

HGSF spokesman George Nyakpo condemned the arrests.

"We've been peaceful," he said. "The world should not see us as troublemakers."

The Volta region is made up of multiple ethnicities. Its past is a history of rule by three colonial European powers.

Britain seized much of what is today Ghana, and Germany took Togo to the east. After Germany's defeat in World War One, Britain and France divided the colonial lands of Togo between themselves.

France took the majority of Togo, but Britain claimed what is now eastern Ghana.

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