General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have warned the general public especially those residing around mining sites to be careful of person(s) who may parade as military men and police officers trained to flush out illegal miners from the country.
Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie warned the public after government deployed about 10 platoons drawn from the army, navy, air force and the police to galamsey sites to help protect the ecology from further degradation.
The 400 specially trained security task force will on Tuesday begin applying force to remove illegal small scale miners from the Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions.
The deployment is part of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s resolve to stamp out illegal mining activities that have destroyed critical water sources and ecosystem.
The operation, dubbed ‘Operation Halt 3’, would be the biggest joint military and police operation ever in the history of the country, following how the activities of illegal miners, known in the Ghanaian parlance as galamsey, have destroyed aquatic life with poisonous chemicals that are also injurious to humans.
The anti-galamsey campaign is being led by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, headed by John Peter Amewu.
However, in the wake of government’s plan, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie believes some fraudsters will use attire resembling those being used by the law enforcement body to intimidate and extort monies from people.
He noted that although the trained security task force have been provided with the necessary security apparatus specially made for the assignment, he believes the general public needs to be cautioned in order to be on the lookout for persons who may parade themselves as members of the task force.
“Our trained security personnel have been provided with all the security items they need. Their attire have been made special for the occasion. They have unique armbands that makes them different so it is important that the general public be on guard for persons who will pose as military men or police officers because they will only end up intimidating them” he warned.
Colonel Aggrey Quarshie denied allegations that the trained security task force have been deployed to terrorize residents.
“They are only going to protect our lands from these illegal miners and not to beat or terrorize anyone and so I urge the public to cooperate with them,” he noted.