Togolese border security officials accused of hindering Ghanaians from crossing into Lome

Some residents in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region have complained about alleged harassment by some Togolese border security personnel.

The residents say the security personnel have in recent times deployed measures that make it difficult to freely cross into Lome, the capital of neighboring Togo.

The residents told the Ghana News Agency, at Aflao, that they were very frustrated by development.

'Togolese border security officers are making life difficult for the people living in the border community, and more especially, the businessmen and women, who use that entry point for their activities daily,' one of the residents complained.

Ms Cynthia Henyo, a resident and trader, said: 'These people are not treating us well at all - we used to cross the border each day without any problems, but nowadays they are not cooperating at all.

'I mean the Togolese side - sometimes you are asked to pay something small and are allowed to cross, but in the last couple of days, you cannot cross at all.

'This situation is taking a toll on those of us who rely on trading at 'Asigame' (the Lome- Big Market) to make ends meet - it is not just those of us living in Aflao and surrounding communities, other people from Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi are all stranded here unable to cross.'

She appealed to the authorities to intervene in finding a solution to the development.

'As you can see for yourself, everyone seems to be stranded. Nobody is going any further, especially, we, the Ghanaians. The Togolese and other nationals are allowed to cross except Ghanaians and we cannot just understand - our big men must quickly do something about this,' Ms Henyo said.

Mr Joshua Norsah, a security analyst the GNA spoke to, decried the development, and described it as' 'worrying'.

'What is happening at the border now has nothing to do with the Ghana Immigration Service, but with the Togolese police at the border, who are preventing the free passage of people, especially our Ghanaian brothers and sisters,' he said.

Mr Norsah added that: 'The deprivation and repressions at that side of the border, sometimes makes you wonder, what they are looking for - because they do it more than necessary.'

He observed that the Togolese security at the Aflao border no longer recognised Ghanaians and their identify cards.

He questioned the importance of the ECOWAS Treaty legitimising the Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services across the common borders within ECOWAS member states.

'How can you pay 2000 CFA, which is GHS 40, before you are allowed to cross the border - When you are returning, you pay the same, that is even when you have the Ghana Card,' he wondered.

The GNA took walked along the border and saw many people, mostly Ghanaian traders and businesspeople, stranded.

Some were Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi, all expressing their frustration.

Meanwhile, Mr Maxwell Kofi Lugudor, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South, and chairman of the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), told the GNA that his attention had been drawn to the development and preliminary findings confirmed some of the concerns raised by the residents.

He said he was informed that the situation was not so until a couple of days ago.

It was attributed to an ongoing voter registration exercise in the neighbouring country, which was expected to end on Sunday, May 7.

Mr Lugudor appealed to the residents to remain calm as MUSEC was working to ensure that the issue was resolved amicably in the interest of the peace and security of both countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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