General News of Tuesday, 8 August 2017
The family of the man killed in Obuasi when illegal miners clashed with Operation Vanguard patrol team say they are waiting for the autopsy report to determine the next line of action.
Thirty-one-year-old Kwabena Agyemang was hit as the armed patrol team clashed with stone-pelting illegal miners, according to the PRO of the joint military and police taskforce.
However, residents say the illegal miners being chased by the taskforce from Wawaso, an adjoining community, entered Anyimadukrom where Kwabena Agyemang and other friends were seated.
Upon hearing shouts that the task force was coming, Kwabena and his friends took their heels.
Residents say they would later realise that Kwabena Agyemang had been hit by a bullet.
Kwabena’s relatives and the residents of Anyimadukrom who spoke to Luv FM debunk claims he was killed during an exchange with the armed patrol team.
Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Major Gariba Pabi, told Joy News Sunday that the task force met the stone-pelting illegal miners at Wawasi and was forced to fire warning shots.
Major Pabi said as the task force moved on the illegal miners they fired a gun at the patrol, and in a bid to protect themselves, the team fired back to disperse the agitated miners.
Richmond Boadi, a brother of the victim and spokesperson of the family, wants the task force to exercise patience in its operations at mining communities else innocent people will die.
“Are they here to protect us or kill us? We are not at war. I plead that they exercise patience else they will be killing innocent people”, Mr Boadi said.
“Police have asked that we bring an autopsy report so we are waiting for the doctor to conduct the post mortem for us. We believe the police will do a good work. We will know what to do after the results”, he adds.
Meanwhile, the incident has left residents in the mining community in fear.
Many people say they cannot go to farms lest they are mistaken for an illegal miner and shot at.
After government’s ban on galamsey activities, discussions have been rife on the need to provide alternative livelihood for them.
Some of the residents whose only hope is farming are in a dilemma how to survive.
“People have farms; we cut the old trees in them and sell as firewood for bread sellers. That is the work most of us do now. But we are afraid to go to the farms because you could be mistaken for mining and killed”, a resident said.
“The task force should come in peace. Yes, this has resulted because of unemployment so the government should find jobs for the youth here”, another explained.