An area of eastern Ghana has declared itself a sovereign state. The region known as the Western Togoland region has had secessionist attempts in the past.
Armed men demanding the secession of Western Togoland region from Ghana blockaded major entry points to the Volta Region of Ghana on Friday morning.
Local sources say the group is holding three police officers hostage, including a District Commander, and attacked two police stations. Before the blockade, the group reportedly broke into an armory and stole weapons.
“This is a very serious situation because just a few weeks ago we saw [what happened] when they mounted signs along the major roads welcoming people into the Western Togoland State,” a resident told DW. “Blocking the roads with heaps of sand, burning tires [and ] even holding security personnel hostage.”
About 12 hours before Friday’s dawn operation, the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) published photos of the graduation ceremony for around 500 personnel who underwent training for months in secret locations, raising questions over the effectiveness of security agencies in the region.
Ghana’s Western Togoland region is predominately wedged between Lake Volta and the Ghana-Togo border. Currently, several splinter groups are demanding the area be recognized as a sovereign state.
In a press release, the chairman of the WTRF, Togbe Yesu Kwabla Edudzi I, declared that efforts for consolidating statehood, which began on 1 September 2020, were being put into practice.
The press release also claimed, “roadblocks to assert its sovereignty are all over the Southern sector.”
The movement says it wants to force the Ghanaian government to join the United Nations (UN) facilitated negotiations aiming to declare Western Togoland an independent state.
Ghanaian police have been ordered to “leave the region in 24 hours” and surrender weapons. Some radio stations appear to have been taken over by members of the WTRF. The group has demanded the release of prisoners currently being held in detention for secessionist activities. Read here