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Go forth with a nationalist spirit – CDS urges anti-galamsey taskforce

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, July 31, GNA – Lieutenant
General Obed Akwa, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), on Monday, urged the joint
Military/Police Anti-galamsey Taskforce to perform their duties with courage
and fortitude.

“Go forth with a clear
conscience because the cause for this operation is the right course and so work
as a team with the nationalist spirit,” he said, adding, “Failure is not an
option”.

He said the taskforce
was constituted to halt the operations of illegal mining otherwise known as
“galamsey” in order to preserve the environment and prevent further destruction
of farmlands and pollution of water bodies.

Lieutenant Obed Akwa
said this at the launch of the operation code named, “Operation Vanguard” at
Burma Camp in Accra.

He said the Military
and the Police had undertaken similar joint operations in the past such as
“Operation Gongo” in the Northern Region and ”Operation Calm Life” throughout
the country as well as “Operation Halt One and Two”, which aimed at preventing
illegal timber lumbering.

The Chief of Defence
Staff noted that government had procured additional logistical resources in
terms of vehicles clothing and medicals to enhance operational efficiency and
effectiveness.

He said the taskforce
had undergone a two-week robust training at the Bundase Training Camp, which
equipped them with the necessary orientation, guidelines, and essential skills
needed for the operation, adding that, team work and effective leadership would
ensure the success of the operation.

He said the troops had
been divided into three detachments bases and assigned experienced commanders,
which would be deployed to Eastern, Western and Ashanti regions.

“One guiding principle
will be the Man-on-the Spot doctrine and, therefore, you are expected to use
your initiatives and professional judgement correctly,” he advised.

The operation falls
under Presidential Initiative, which started with an issuance of ultimatum by
the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for all illegal miners to evacuate
their mining equipment such as excavators from illegal mining sites.

President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also pledged his unflinching support to end the menace of
illegal mining by putting his job on the line.

It is estimated that
one million people are involved in the chain of mining activities in the
country, including foreigners who have destroyed the environment.

The Minerals and
Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 and amended Act 2015; Act 900 reserved small-scale
mining to only Ghanaians.

GNA

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