Ghana News

REGSEC on high alert as Volta separatists penetrate Ashanti Region

It has emerged that the separatist group, Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), is already penetrating parts of the Ashanti Region.

The chairman of the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, assured that security has been heightened to curb such threats.

“Since there are a lot of descendants from the Volta Region in the Ashanti Region, we have been on the lookout for possible secessionists”, Mr. Osei-Mensah said.

“We call on all including Traditional leaders to help out with information,” the Minister said during an engagement with members of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs on Wednesday, October 8, 2020.

On September 25, armed men believed to be members of the separatist group attacked two police stations in the eastern part of Ghana in a bid to declare the territory independent.

They managed to capture three personnel of the Ghana Police Service during the dawn attack and made away with some weapons.

The group also attacked a state-run transport yard in the Volta Regional capital Ho, setting buses ablaze.

The attack has since sparked widespread condemnations amid fears among residents in the region and the country at large.

Mr. Osei-Mensah, however, told the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs led by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II that the security agencies are firmly on the ground.

Meanwhile, chiefs and identified youth groups in the Volta Region are not in favour of the group’s activities.

“I think the majority of the people in the Volta Region, the majority if I say majority, 95-98% of the people don’t support what is going on. In fact, they are very much embarrassed by the activities of these people,” Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa had said in an interview.

At least 100 members of the group have so far been arrested in connection with the recent attacks as officials say more than half of them have been remanded into police custody.

The Ashanti Regional Minister is urging the Chiefs in the various jurisdictions and all Ghanaians to be vigilant and cooperative in aiding in the fight against separatist ideals.

“If you see people in your area being given military training or anything that looks suspicious or any sort, please alert us,” he said.

The separatists on November 16, 2019 declared independence for the territory they call ‘Western Togoland’. The HGSF group, which formed in 1994, says it works to advance the rights of the people in eastern Ghana.

Multiple ethnicities live in the region, a place with a history of rule by three colonial European powers.

Britain seized much of what is today Ghana, and Germany grabbed neighbouring Togo. After Germany’s defeat in World War One, the land was split between British Togoland and French Togoland.

When Britain left its empire in Africa, British Togoland became part of eastern Ghana in 1956.

But the separatists say the area has its own unique history and culture, and want a country of their own.

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