The government has escalated its fight against illegal mining with the deployment of a joint military and police personnel to curb the scourge.
In all 400 officers are being deployed and it is the first phase of a long-term campaign to protect mining sites across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the task force code-named ‘Operation Vanguard’, the Minister of Interior Ambrose Dery said government’s resolve to stop the menace is “clear and unwavering.”
The role of the force, he said will be to make sure that processes being devised to halt illegal mining are pursued in peace and security.
“On that? No compromise,” he stated, adding “what we expect of you the personnel is commitment and professionalism that you don’t abandon your obligations when you are influenced by any other person and that professionally you are guided by the law.”
He urged the force to respect the rights of those they deal with in the course of the operation but where necessary the law permits them to use reasonable force which is determined by the force of their opponents.
He said the force’s target is illegal miners regardless of their nationalities.
On his part, the Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul said the force are being tasked to go and stay at the illegal mining sites and stop the menace, warning indigenes daring the force to desist before it is too late.
“…Because the country is behind the task force. Don’t dare them. It will not be in your interest to dare them. The country is behind them and they will do everything and anything to make this mission a success,” he cautioned.
He said apart from maybe the Greater Accra and the Volta regions respectively the whole country is covered by activities of illegal miners destroying every arable land available.
“This cannot continue,” he declared, urging the force to hit the ground to put an end to the menace forever.
The chairman of the inter-ministerial taskforce Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), also added his voice to the warnings given by Mr. Nitiwul saying: “Any attempt at impeding the work of the task force will be met with requisite force.”
Published on 31 July 2017 | 12:01 pm at Source