Police in Ghana arrest 81 people in separatist crackdown

Police officers on patrol. (Photo credit PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Police officers on patrol in Ghana. (Photo credit PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

A joint military and police operation in Ghana saw 81 people arrested for allegedly supporting the declaration of an eastern Volta region, which they call “Western Togoland”, as an independent country.

Police said the group were members of the “Homeland Study Group Foundation”. The HGSF was formed in 1994 and says it works to advance the rights of the people in eastern Ghana.

Majority of the arrests were around the town of Ho, about 150 kilometres northeast of the capital Accra.

Police spokesman Prince Dogbatse said the suspects were arrested following a tip-off by joint police and military forces at various entry points to the Volta region.

The latest arrests come in the wake of the detention of eight other members on Sunday as they prepared to declare the region as their own nation.

The group’s leader, 85-year-old Charles Kormi Kudjordji, was among those arrested on Sunday but he was released on bail on Wednesday due to his age.

The group’s members face possible charges of conspiracy to commit treason, and charges connected to the alleged training of a militia force.

In 2017, the HGSF leaders were arrested and cautioned against engaging in activities against the state.