The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul says government is likely to deploy military personnel in the coming days to augment the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
He explained that the military’s involvement to combat the menace will be part of their duties to maintaining internal securities.
“I can assure you that the Armed Forces will as part of their normal internal security get involved in sorting out the issues of galamsey. And the government is committed to ensuring that the issue of galamsey is brought to a complete halt because it is pure indiscipline and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he made this known in an interaction with Soldiers at Burma Camp.
The government has warned the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners that they will be dealt with, if they breach the freeze on all forms of Small Scale mining.
Members of the Association this week announced a planned demonstration dubbed “all-die-be-die” to register their displeasure over the ban.
But the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources cautioned that the miners may return to the sites at their own risk.
“I keep on saying that there is going to be a deployment of the law enforcement agencies; the Police the Army and the Airforce for a sustainable period – not less than one year, and that is going to come shortly. So if anybody dares to return to the site and it results in equipment being confiscated, that will be very unfortunate. That is why I have taken my time and explained issues to them and given timelines so they cease operations.”
“I gave another period of 30 days, which is coming to an end, to make sure they evacuate their equipment from the sites. All those timelines are to make sure there are no excuses when people’s equipment are seized.”
“For the association, I am going to engage them. I am in Kumasi and I am going to be in the Ashanti Region for the coming three days and I will have time to engage them so that together, we will build a Ghana that is acceptable and a Ghana that everybody will want to mine in.”