Regional News of Saturday, 24 May 2014
Residents of Sansu in the Obuasi Municipality have vowed to resist the decision of AngloGold Ashanti to start surface mining in the area.
The mining firm is expected to undertake surface mining at its concession there for the next two years, as it takes steps to redevelop its underground mine in Obuasi.
But the Assembly Member for Sansu electoral area, Benjamin Annan feels his people have for years not been treated fairly by the mining firm.
“AngloGold has taken my community hostage,” he told Joy FM’s Top Story on Friday.
He explained that the community lost their farmlands when the company was operating surface mining some years back. He said with the arrival of multinational companies, residents were also forced to stop the artisanal mining, which they had resorted to after their farmlands were taken from them, he claimed.
“There is no way we are going to tolerate them,” Mr. Annan said in response to AngloGold’s surface mining activity at Sansu
To avoid any unhealthy conflict, the Assemblyman has called on the government to engage the mining firm so that the community can be resettled at a different place before the mining takes shape.
He warned that it is going to be "confrontational" if the state joins force with the company to brutalise citizens using the military and the police.
But Chairman of the Obuasi Municipal Security Council and Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Richard Ofori Agyeman, is calling for calm.
He said most of the issues raised by the community have come to his attention and he has been working to create a congenial atmosphere for the mine to coexist with the community.
Though he said it is the first time the resettlement is coming to his notice, he was ready to dialogue with the company to come to an agreement with the people.
He hinted that, a relocation would not be a difficult issue to deal with because he heard from an unofficial source that the company had in the past attempted to resettle them, but was botched.
“We don’t want any kind of confrontation,” he said with a worried tone, adding that with the current position of AngloGold Ashanti, it would not be encouraging to create problems for the firm, fearing that will worsen the company’s situation.
He, therefore, appealed to the community to take into consideration the overall effect of their action.