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04.07.2005 General News

KATH Surgeons commended for standing for the truth


Accra, July 4, GNA - The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has commended two Surgeons of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for standing for the truth and stating that Mr Awudu Mohammed, a Small-Scale miner, was shot.

The Association said: "We commend Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso and Dr K. Turkson (they carried out surgical operation on Mr Mohammed) of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for exhibiting such professional competence and commitment to the truth in the face of extreme pressure."

This was contained in a statement the Executive Director of the Association, Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng signed on Monday.

AngloGold Ashanti and Obuasi Police lied to Ghanaians when they told the Ghana News Agency that spikes on top of a gate on the premises of the Obuasi Mines pierced Mr Mohammed of Sansu, near Obuasi, when they knew that he was shot.

While AngloGold Ashanti lied in a statement they issued to the Ghana News Agency, Chief Superintendent Kwabena Akuoko Oduro, Obuasi Police Divisional Commander, lied in an interview with GNA. Dr Owusu-Danso, Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) told the GNA that Mr Mohammed was shot.

He said Mr Mohammed presented deep penetrating injury of the abdomen with his intestine almost completely extruded, which must have been caused by a bullet.

Colonel Steve Oduro-Kwarteng (rtd), Head of Special Services Department of AngloGold Ashanti, signed the AngloGold statement on Thursday.

The statement claimed Mr Mohammed "in attempt to climb over the metal gate was wounded in the tummy by the spikes on top of the metal gate. He fell outside the gate and could not move again. It was then observed that part of his intestines had gushed out".

Chief Superintendent Oduro corroborated the AngloGold Ashanti's lie, when he spoke to the GNA in a telephone interview.

The GNA had reported on Wednesday that AngloGold Ashanti Security on Tuesday June 21 carried out its threat to shoot small-scale gold miners on sight and shot Mr Mohammed, who had entered the Company's concession in Obuasi.

WACAM said: "The attempts by AngloGold Ashanti to concoct stories to cover up the truth in the alleged shooting of the "Galamsey" suspect, though not surprising, should be condemned in the strongest of terms.

"What is more disturbing is the role of the Obuasi District Police Command in supporting and defending the story put up by AngloGold Ashanti Officials.

"Mining communities especially those affected by the operations of the then Ashanti Goldfields Company and now AngloGold Ashanti perceive the Police as adjuncts of the Company and this has eroded the confidence of the people of mining communities in the Ghana Police Service," the Association said.

WACAM said: "Mining communities have blamed the Police for not protecting their rights as required under the Constitution of Ghana but rather supports the mining companies in forced evictions, shooting and brutalisation of "Galamsey" suspects, shooting of peaceful demonstrators, denial of the right to embark on peaceful demonstrations, arrest and intimidation of community leaders.

"The recent shooting of the demonstrators in Prestea and the attempts by the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander to deny some people of Kenyase the right to demonstrate against Newmont Ghana Limited are recent cases that re-enforces some of the perceptions of mining communities about the Ghana Police Service.

The Association said: "We are aware that some Policemen and Policewomen have gone about their duties conscientiously in matters relating to the rights of marginalized people and we commend such Police Officers for their professional competence.

"We call on the Inspector General of Police to take up the challenge of educating Police Officers to recognise that the rich and the poor must be treated equally before the law. Indeed that is the cardinal principle underlying the rule of law," the WACAM statement said.