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07.06.2007 General News

Security agencies swoop on illegal miners


A joint military and police team halted the operations of about 500 illegal gold miners at Mpohor in the Western region.

Additionally, stone crushers, generators, multiple water pumping machines, water hoses, shovels, pickaxes, and other equipment belonging to the illegal miners – “galamsey” operators - were seized during the exercise.

Lt. Col. Francis Vib-Sanziri, Commander of the Second Battalion of Infantry (2BN) who disclosed these to newsmen in an interview said the exercise was directed by the National Security Council (NSC) aimed at stopping the activities of illegal miners in the country.

He said on Monday, June 4, around 0400 hours, 60 military and 30 policemen were detailed to Mpohor and its environs to secure the 25 acres of land, which the galamsey operators had annexed to themselves.

He said so far, no one had been shot or wounded by the security personnel and described as false, rumours that two people had been shot. Lt. Col. Vib-Sanziri said there was no confrontation between the people and the security agencies.

He said though the concession belonged to Golden Star Resources the youth within Mpohor and its environs had demanded that those portions be allocated to them for their galamsey activities.

Presently a high-tension electricity pole is under threat of collapse due to the activities of the group, which had left huge craters, stagnant water and other environmental hazards in their trail.

The Commander said initially, the youth blockaded the main road with empty petrol and kerosene tanks thereby obstructing road traffic.

He said the youth started throwing stones when the personnel attempted to remove the barriers but later fled when warning shots were fired.

The Mpohor township is calm and people were going about their normal duties peacefully.

Source: GNA