14 suspected separatists arrested in Kpando

A lactating mother and her two-year-old daughter were among 14 suspected members of the separatist Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), arrested by a joint team of soldiers and personnel of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), in Kpando, on Saturday.

The suspects, who included two women aged 25 and 60, were said to be holding a clandestine meeting in an uncompleted building at Kpando-Aziavi when the security personnel swooped on them.

Three motorbikes and 10 cellular phones belonging to some of the suspects were seized during the swoop.

“This follows intelligence gathering on the plans and activities of the group in recent time,” according to Lt Col B.B. Pantoah, Commanding Officer of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho, who, however, said that the child was not a suspect.

He said in a virtual interview soon after the arrest that the meeting which commenced at about 8am dragged for about four hours before the suspects were grabbed.

Lt Col Pantoah said that soon after the arrest, the suspects were taken to the Volta Regional Police Headquarters in Ho, on a Ghana Armed Forces bus.

The ages of suspects range from 25 to 60, and among them were masons, drivers, farmers, a carpenter and one unemployed person.

When contacted on phone, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Edward Oduro-Kwateng, Volta Regional Commander of Police, corroborated the story, and said that investigations into the matter would begin as soon as possible.

The latest arrests of the suspected separatists comes barely a fortnight after five members of the group were granted bail after spending six  months in prison custody.

Meanwhile, the leader of the HSGF, Charles Kudzordzi, 85, and two other organisers of the group, ‘Gbeku’ and George Nyakpo have been on the run since November, last year.

The group has been agitating for sovereignty for parts of the Volta and Oti Regions, to be known at ‘Western Togoland’, for some time now.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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