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31 July 2017

Photos: Gov’t escalates galamsey crack down as soldiers ready to join fight

Government is set to deploy 10 platoons across Ghana’s mining zones, escalating the fight against illegal mining blamed for massive destruction of land and river bodies.

The inclusion of armed personnel is Step Three of government’s plan to flush out illegal miners after several months of warning them to stop. The government has also banned mining in water bodies.

The Lands and Natural Resources minister John Peter Amewu first gave the miners a 3-week ultimatum to pack out. He later toured sites in the Eastern and Western regions to find out the extent of the damage done by the illegal activities.

In Step Two, government engaged chiefs in a conference in Accra to enlist their support as it prepared to put boots on the ground.

At Burma camp Monday morning, 400 personnel drawn from Ghana Armed Forces and Ghana Police Service prepare to receive departing instructions.

They will be spread across three regions where the menace is most severe – the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions. A senior military official told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, most of Ghana’s water bodies are located in these regions.

“The focus is on three so that gradually we move forward”.

Government has stressed it is in the fight against galamsey to win it after earlier attempts to use force failed under the previous government.

The Deputy Information minister Mustapha Hamid said the security forces could stay for as long as two years

The government has asked mining communities to cooperate with the security forces when ‘Operation Vanguard’ starts.

The Military has warned illegal miners who have dared to resist the armed occupation to revise their strategies.

“If they become a stublng block they will be removed”, the Ghana Army’s Col. Aggrey Quarshie said.

Even before the fight gets militarised, a soldier Major Maxwell Adam Mahama lost his life last May in Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central region where he headed a platoon there to fight illegal mining.

Photos

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