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House of Chiefs condemns secessionist disturbances in Volta

Traditional leaders slam the seizures of police installations and exchanges of gunfire on Friday by Western Togoland activists

The National House of Chiefs has condemned the attacks on police stations in the Volta Region by members of the Western Togoland Movement.

Armed men believed to be members of the separatist group on Friday (25 September) attacked the police stations in Aveyime and Mepe in an attempt to declare the territory independent.

Dawn attacks produce arms seizures

The secessionists, who operate under the banner of the obscure pro-secessionist Homeland Study Group Foundation, managed to capture three personnel of the Ghana Police Service during the series of dawn attacks and make away with arms and ammunition.

The armed group also mounted roadblocks at Juapong amid firing of gunshots, prompting a joint police and military action.

At a meeting of members of the House, the president of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, described the group’s actions as alarming and unfortunate.

“Today’s road blockage and closures, attempts at causing destruction to state property, kidnapping et cetera, these are the kinds of things I do not ever recollect ever happening in our country,” he said.

“The Honourable Minister of National Security talked to me about it. I also made some effort to call some chiefs from the Volta Region about a rapid response from the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, and we are lucky to have the minister with us today.”

Prevent escalation

Togbe Afede announced that the standing committee of the National House of Chiefs would issue a response to the developments after an emergency meeting.

“It requires the support of all of us to ensure this does not escalate any further,” he said: “that our country will remain the peaceful nation it has always been, and which we have always taken a lot of pride in.”

The combined military-police team has so far arrested more than 30 people in connection with Friday’s defiance of law and order in the Eastern and Volta Regions. One person is known to have been killed in the violence.

Fred Dzakpata

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