General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Members of the Ashanti Regional Small Scale Miners Association have threatened to fight military personnel who will be deployed by government to stop them from going to their various mining sites.
They claim they’ve been unfairly targeted and losing their equipment because of lack of discretion by the security agencies.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, last week disclosed that government is deploying a combine team of military and police personnel to illegal mining sites across the country.
The deployment, according to him will be done in two weeks and that it will target illegal miners who engage in the nefarious acts at night.
The personnel are expected to remain in the illegal mining sites for at least a year.
But in an interview with Kumasi based Abusua FM’s Osei Kwadwo, members of the Association said soldiers who had been deployed at various mining sites until their recent recall, demonstrated that they were rather fighting against licensed miners and not illegal miners.
“It is disheartening to note that our licenses have not been revoked, suspended or cancelled yet legal miners are bearing the brunt of the so called fight against galamsey.
“We want to draw President Nana Addo and the general public’s attention, that members of the Association who have valid license would go back to our mining sites to carry out our rightful legal employment. We are warning the security agencies not dare to stop us or protect our mining site because we are ready to fight them. We will fight for our freedom,” they fumed.