This article needs to be updated. (July 2021)
The Western Togoland Rebellion (French: Rébellion du Togoland de l'Ouest) or the Francophone Crisis (French: Crise francophone) is an ongoing separatist revolt led-by an Ewe nationalist organization Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF/FRTO; French: Front de restauration du Togoland de l'Ouest) against the government of Ghana seeking the independence of former British Togoland.
During World War I, the Allies conquered German Schutzgebiet Togoland and divided the country into British Togoland (Western Togoland) and French Togoland (Eastern Togoland). The British Togoland territory had been a League of Nations mandate, then a United Nations Trust Territory under British control.
In 1954, the British government informed the UN that it would be unable to administer the Trust Territory after 1957. In response, in December 1955, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution advising the British government to hold a plebiscite on the future of British Togoland.
On 9 May 1956, this plebiscite was held under UN supervision and gave two alternatives to the people: union with soon-to-be Ghana or continuation as a Trust Territory until neighbouring French Togoland had decided upon its future. A third option, independence, was not listed. The Togoland native and dominant ethnic group, the Togolese Ewe people, Togolese Ewe-based Togoland Congress campaigned against and preferred amalgamation with French Togoland. The eventual result was reported to be 58% in favour of integration, although in the southern part of the territory 55% of voters had voted for separation from Gold Coast and continued UN Trusteeship.
Despite concerns over the lawfulness of the referendum and questions about Britain's concerns for the peoples of Western Togoland and their will for independence, unification with Ghana as an administrative region became a reality and in 1956 British Togoland was incorporated into Ghana. The majority in the former British Togoland are Ewes and mostly speak the French and the Ewe languages.
In 1973, 120 Chiefs of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs (French: Chambre des chefs de la région de la Volta) who demonstrated their opposition to the extension of the Eastern Region of Ghana into the Volta Region faced a violent crackdown by the military forces.
In 2017, 7 members of the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF/FGEP; French: Fondation du Groupe d'étude de la Patrie) were arrested for wearing T-shirts with the inscription “9 May 2017 is OUR DAY Western Togoland”, referring to the date when the organisation attempted to declare independence.
On 5 May 2019, 9 leaders of the HSGF/FGEP who were calling for the independence of parts of Volta and Northern Regions were picked up for planning to declare parts of the Volta and Northern Regions an independent state.
On 8 May 2019, The Volta Regional Police Command (French: Commandement de la police régionale de la Volta) in collaboration with the 66 Artillery Regiment arrested an additional 81 members of the HSGF/FGEP for their involvement in planning a protest against the arrest of their leaders. 54 of the suspects were arrested aboard a bus whilst entering Ho from Aflao direction. 17 were arrested in the house of the leader of the group, Charles Kormi Kudzordi near the 66 artillery regiment barracks and 10 were arrested at other entry points into the Ho municipality. They were all later released on bail or let off with a caution.
On 8 July 2019, Charles Kormi Kudzordzi was airlifted to the capital Accra to stand trial for treason, only for the state to drop the charges along with 8 other leaders.
On 14 December 2019, WTRF/FRTO claimed to have about 2,000 Western Togoland military men and women pass from Gorrilla military school (French: École militaire Gorilles).
On 3 August 2020, 17 people living in the Oti Region were prosecuted by Ghana Police Service for speaking French (one of the most spoken languages of Western Togoland).
The Western Togoland Restoration Front declared the sovereignty of Western Togoland on 1 September 2020. After the declaration, various signs were erected throughout former British Togoland welcoming people into "Western Togoland".
On 1 September - WTRF/FRTO declares the sovereignty of Western Togoland.
On 25 September - WTRF/FRTO seize control of an armoury and then proceeding to blockade various roads leading into Ghana's Volta Region. Aveyime and Mepe police stations were also attacked, freeing inmates as well as seizing weapons of the police, shooting and injuring the Divisional Police Commander, the seizure of Police pick-up vehicles amid firing of gunshots. The rebels made off with at least 15 AK47 and 4 pump action guns at Aveyime Police station. two more weapons were taken at Mepe Police Station. They also disarmed the reinforcement team, taking their weapons including the Police Commander's pistol.
In response to the attacks on the police stations a joint Military-Police Team, in conjunction with other security agencies deployed to the affected areas and succeeded in apprehending 31 members of the WTRF/FRTO. Fire exchanges between the WTRF/FRTO and the security agencies led to the death of one member of the WTRF/FRTO and injury to three others.
According to residents of the town of Juapong, Soldiers allegedly stormed a community where one of the roadblocks were mounted. They raided homes and arrested anyone they suspect of belonging to the separatist group and might have taken part in the roadblock. Those arrested were beaten up and paraded around the roadside. Residents say at least two people who were shot by the soldiers died including a coconut seller identified just as Emmanuel. Another 3 were found dead in Battor.
On 27 September - After an emergency meeting by its members in Ho, the Volta Regional House of Chiefs condemn the WTRF/FRTO violence on 25 September. In a statement which was signed by the Vice President of the House, Togbe Tepre Hodo IV, called for the resolution of certain worrying and pertinent issues in connection with the alleged rebel actions, which it said were important for strengthening peace. For instance, the statement sought to know how the group managed to mount billboards and flags without anyone noticing until the billboards were seen only in the morning, in all past cases. The statement sought to know the identities of those arrested following the events of Friday, September 25, amid allegations that innocent bystanders who were observing what was happening were arrested. They also wanted to know the identities of the 2 people killed at Juapong and three killed at Battor. The statement also expressed concern over the inability of National Security to pick up any intelligence on the activities of the WTRF/FRTO to prevent them or arrest the conspirators.
On 29 September - Separatists attacked a bus yard belonging to the State Transport Corporation in the city of Ho. Police later arrested some 30 protesters and one civilian was killed in an exchange of fire between the separatists and government forces. In an attempt to hurt each other's reputation in the upcoming election the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) accused the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being behind recent attacks of the WTRF/FRTO in the Volta Region. In return Nana Obiri Boahen, the Deputy General Secretary of the NPP said that majority of the members of the WTRF/FRTO belong to the NDC.
On 29–30 September - Police arrested 5 WTRF/FRTO separatists who attacked the police stations on 5 September with 20+ other separatists.
On 30 September - The HSGF/FGEP denies allegations that it attacked the State Transport Company yard in Ho.
On 2 October - Security forces in Ghana arrested 60 separatists who are allegedly members of the WTRF/FRTO. Due to the attacks by the WTRF/FRTO the Ghanaian government granted autonomy to the town of Alavanyo.
On 4 October - Police arrested 17 suspected WTRF/FRTO separatists. 14 AK-47 rifles, 3 pump-action guns, 1 pistol, a shotgun, and some other weapons were also retrieved.
On 6 October - The leader of the HSGF/FGEP, Charles Kwame Kudzordzithe, strongly condemns the violence on all sides and recalls Ghanaian authorities for peace talks.
On 9 October - People loyal to the WTRF/FRTO attempted to blockade various roadways throughout the Volta Region and Greater Accra Region.
On 10 October - Security officers cleared sand on the road that was placed by the WTRF/FRTO to avoid any inconveniences to motorists.
On 13 October - A shared video on social media claims Western Togoland secessionist are training 4,300 military men to take over what they claim is their country as soon as possible. According to the leader of their military wing, their military wing is called the Dragons (French: Les dragons), and they have been training in a nearby country, most likely Togo. They also claim they are not rebels or militants. They are fully trained military men. They also sent a note of caution to Energy Minister John Peter Amewu, Volta Regional Minister Archibald Yao Letsa and the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, saying “We’re giving you, John Peter Amewu, Archibald Letsa Yao, Okudzeto Ablakwa, prior notice. The Dragons, together with Gorillas, will enter the land after 21 days to claim the state. The Gorillas, together with Dragons, are merging to deliver their motherland, Western Togoland.” The group further appealed to the chiefs and leaders of the various communities in the Volta Region, not to be deceived by anyone who offers them money, in cedis or naira, to work against their mission.
On 30 November - soldiers from the Ghanaian Armed Forces were deployed to the Volta Region ahead of the 2020 presidential election on December 7.
On 17 December - a fake lawyer representing the Western Togoland separatists has been arrested.
On 22 December - 30 alleged separatists were arrested after the Accra Circuit Court had discharged.
On 4 February - Unidentified armed men clashed with a police patrol in Kwaebibirem District, Eastern Region. One policemen was killed and another wounded. The police patrol was dispatched there to respond to a robbery attack and road blocking.
On 13 April - 3 officiers were arrested for separatist views about Western Togoland.