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04.02.2006 General News

Teberebie community clashes with security men


Tarkwa (W/R), Feb. 4 GNA - One person on Thursday sustained gunshot wounds during a clash between the people of Teberebie, a farming community affected by mining in Western Region, and security personnel deployed by Iduapriem Mine of AngloGold Ashanti.

Anthony Baidoo, a farmer, was shot in the upper thigh and was rushed to the Effia-Nwanta Hospital, Takoradi, after receiving first aid at Anglogold Ashanti, Iduapriem Mine (AAIM) Clinic. Four others, who sustained injuries in the course of the clash, were treated at the same clinic and discharged.

Briefing the Press on Friday afternoon after Wassa West District Security Council (DISEC) meeting, Chief Superintendent Daniel Sapart Sampana, Tarkwa Divisional Commander of Police, said some people from Teberebie community mounted a roadblock when some community members were prevented from using a haul road to their farms.

He said the Soldiers, Police and Private Security men from SecPoint Security Service were called in to calm down the situation. Chief Superintendent Sampana said one Kwaku Kyei, from Teberebie, held the gun of a soldier in an attempt to disarm him and in an ensuing struggle the gun went off and the bullet hit one Anthony Baidoo. He said Kyei, who sustained some injuries on his hands confessed in his caution statement that he held the gun because he was afraid that the soldier was going to shoot at him.

Chief Superintendent Sampana said the DISEC had directed among other things that: "AAIM should exercise maximum restraint in using security personnel in resolving community issues and strive for peaceful co-existence and hasten the construction of culverts on the new road." It also asked the Teberebie community to use the newly constructed road and resort to dialogue to resolve issues instead of confrontation. In a related development, Mr Jerry Mensah, a reporter from Dynamite FM, a local FM Station was manhandled and his mobile phone collected from him by a soldier when he went to cover the incident.

Mr Mensah said a soldier asked him to surrender his mobile phone, when he went to the scene to cover the event, but he refused. The soldier then hit him with the butt of his gun and collected the phone from him.

Chief Superintendent Sampana expressed regret about the incident and advised Journalists not to expose themselves to risk in the course of their duties, saying one had to identify himself with the security on occasions like this one.

The Assemblyman for Teberebie Electoral Area, Mr Ernest Kwasi Amoateng said AAIM had earlier served the community with a letter informing it to use the newly constructed road to their farms instead of a bus picking them to a point before going to their farms. But the community asked AAIM to first re-gravel the new road and construct a culvert on it so that when it rained it would not become impassable before they would it.

Part of the access road the community members used to their farms fell within the footprints of a waste dump and it was agreed that an alternative road was to be constructed for the community to use. It was agreed that during the construction of the road a bus would be provided to convey the farmers from one point to another to avoid the