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25.07.2005 General News

AngloGold Ashanti torments mining Communities


Accra, July 25, GNA - The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), a human rights and environmental advocacy organisation, has petitioned Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the havoc AngloGold Ashanti is wreaking on mining communities.

The petition, a copy of which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, catalogues incidents of killings and maiming the Security of AngloGold Ashanti has been meting out to members of mining communities in its operational area.

The petition signed by Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of WACAM, , said Mr Clement Kofi Baffoh, a small-scale miner of Aduaneyede, near Obuasi died on June 9 2004 under mysterious circumstance while in the custody of AngloGold Ashanti Security. It said AngloGold Ashanti Security on 21 June 2005 shot Awudu Mohammed, another small-scale miner, but its Public Relations outfit concocted a story that he was pierced by spikes on a gate when he attempted to run away. Surgeons at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, who treated Mohammed, have since said that he was shot.

The petition said AngloGold Ashanti had introduced the use of guard dogs on people they suspected of trespassing on their concession and cited the case of Mr Clement Kofi Scott, another small-scale miner, was attacked by dogs.

Other cases listed were the beating to death of Kwame Poku of Sanso, near Obuasi in February 1994; Justice Opoku alias Papa Yaw in December 1997 and Kofi Sarpong in January 1997 by AngloGold Ashanti Security and a combined team of the Military and Police.

The rest of listed cases were that of Kwaku Bio alias Kwaku Firi of Old Anyinam, who was mauled to death by the guard dogs of Anglogold Ashanti Security. Bio had gone to look for firewood in what he perceived to be a nearby bush, which happened to be part of the concession of the Company. The firewood was found lying by his dead body.

The petition said Mr Benjamin Annan, Assemblyman for Sansu, had been championing the struggle to seek justice and called on all men of goodwill to join the fight against the mining giant that devours without mercy. 25 July 05