Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands Natural Resources has ordered all security persons conducting operations at various mining sites without authorisation from the government to immediately evacuate from the sites.
In a statement copied to GhanaWeb, Samuel A. Jinapor said that the Ministry has learnt of the activities of these unauthorized security officers and charged them to abandon their operations with immediate effect.
He said “Operation Halt” which is made up of 200 military officers remains the only task force approved by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the government.
Jinapor warned the operatives to refrain from abusing small-scale miners whose areas of operations have not been declared ‘Red Zone’.
“I refer to the ongoing security operation, dubbed “Operation Halt”, mounted by the Ghana Armed Forces to preserve the “Red Zones”, i.e our Waterbodies and Forest Reserves. The operation is being conducted under the express instruction of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and is being overseen by the Ministry of National Security.
“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources that certain unauthorized “Task Forces” and/or security operatives have taken advantage of the ongoing Operation Halt to harass small scale miners across the country.
“The operations of all such unauthorized Task Forces and/or parallel Security Outfits should cease and be disbanded with immediate effect,” parts of the statement read.
The Minister said his outfit remains committed to the fight against illegal mining and will deal ruthlessly with anyone who is seen to be trying to thwart the actions of the government.
“The Ministry reiterates its unwavering commitment to realize the national policy on small scale mining, which is to preserve our water bodies, forest reserves, and sanitize the sector”.
As a sign of their commitment to protecting legal mining, the government earlier on Wednesday announced the deployment of two hundred police officers to large and certified concession sites.
The officers were assigned to the sites after undergoing ten-day training in Mineral law, Voluntary Principles, Human Rights, Officer Safety, Weapon Handling, and Use of Minimum Force.