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General News of Monday, 24 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We will destroy your equipment – Ghana Armed Forces warn illegal miners

Logo of the Ghana Armed Forces Logo of the Ghana Armed Forces

• The Ghana Armed Forces has issued another warning to illegal miners

• GAF says it will continue to destroy equipment seized at illegal mining sites

• Some persons including Kweku Baako disagrees with the decision to destroy the equipment

The Ghana Armed Forces have reiterated the order to its personnel in the Operation Halt task force to destroy all equipment seized at illegal mining sites.

In a statement signed by its Public Relations Director, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie, the Ghana Armed Forces said that the latest visit by the Operation Halt team revealed that illegal mining activities have resumed at some sites which were previously cleared.

GAF stated further that it is committed to protecting the country’s water bodies and forest reserves and would not hesitate to destroy the equipment to achieve this purpose.

"Visits by military personnel tasked to stop illegal mining has shown that there were still some illegal mining activities going on in some of the areas that had hitherto been cleared by Operation Halt II.”

“The Ghana Armed Forces wishes to once again caution all citizens especially those living in and around major rivers and their tributaries and forest reserves that Operation Halt II is still in progress. Any equipment found in and around water bodies and forest reserves would be destroyed.

“These illegal activities were mostly being done in the night or under the cover of darkness protected by armed guards, as used cartridges were found at the sites. The Operation Halt II patrol that accompanies the team was ordered to destroy logistics found in these areas,” the statement added.

The caution comes at a time that discussions are ongoing about the legality of burning seized excavators.

Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence at a press conference warned persons who undertake mining in the night to stop else they will be dealt with by the task force.

“We are not seizing any equipment, no equipment will be returned home, they will all be destroyed on-site. No excavator, nothing will come back home.”

“We know that they do that from 9:00 pm to 4:00 am. That’s how brave they are. We know, and we know the towns they are doing it in, so we will come after you. Don’t try it,” Mr. Nitiwul warned.

But veteran journalist, Kweku Baako described the statement as ‘frightening and unfortunate.

Baako in his reaction said: “This is frightening. If state actors in the name of the state ignore an existing law and preach lawlessness, it is unfortunate. In fact, I’m disappointed,” the New Crusading Guide Editor-In-Chief stressed.

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