The 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho has evacuated some 21 persons including a lady believed to be receiving military training from a secessionists group – Homeland Study Group Foundation, in thickets around Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality.
The ‘recruits’ were rounded up in a dawn operation by the military following weeks of surveillance.
Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Baba Pantoah, Commanding Officer, 66 Artillery Regiment, told the media they picked intelligence of illegal military training camp in the thickets and launched operation at dawn with over 40 military officers and men and two crime scene investigators from the Police Service.
He said during the operation, five of the ‘recruits’ including their instructors escaped but one was arrested later.
The Commanding Officer said the operations were not over and that they were on the heels of the secessionists and working hard to flush them
According to the military, the ‘recruits’ between 19 and 30 years were told they were being trained for the Ghana Army and made to submit their academic certificates and to pay GH¢800 each. The thickets have natural cover and natural obstacles for ‘intruders’ and offer a safe haven for the ‘recruits’ in a valley with a stream.
Justine Abotsi, 21, the only female among the ‘recruits’ said she came from Anlo Afiadenyigba and reported for the training ten days ago after she received calls of her selection to be trained as a farm hand for a company abroad.
She said it was after she got to the training camp and had her mobile phones seized that she realised it was a military training camp.
Emmanuel Tannor, 19, and six others who came from Accra to the training camp said they were told Western Togoland had attained independence and was recruiting soldiers.
He said they met another group at the camp said to have completed training and going on “peace keeping”.
Anthony Avorgbedor, Ketu North Municipal Chief Executive, said he was surprised illegal military training camp was being run in the Municipality and commended the military for the quick response.