Today, Friday, April 30, 2021, Ghanaians were briefed on the activities the 200 military men currently fight against illegal mining. It can be recalled that on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo authorized an offensive of 200 armed men from the Ghana Armed Forced against illegal mining around the River Pra in the Central and Western Regions.
1.Illegal mining is on the rise again after Operation Vanguard. The Armed Forces were authorized to flush out illegal mining along Ghana’s river bodies especially the major ones.
2. The Operation is named Operation Halt. It was launched in 2009 and this is a resumption.
3. Personnel from the Ghana Army, Air Force and Nay are taking part with support from the Ghana Police and Ghana Immigration. Army provided 154 members, Navy – 40 members with 6 members from the Ghana Navy.
4. The Operation is to last for 3 days and it will end today.
5. Troop carrying vehicles, helicopters, drones, assault boats and fully armed men were used. The operation started at 0600 on Wednesday.
6. Ghana Air Force took photos and by 1800 on Wednesday 2 Chinese had been arrested and handed to National Security. The 2 Chinese are due to be prosecuted soon
7. Nine excavators, 1 fuel pump and a number of machines have been destroyed. 1 pump action gun, generator, Huawei phone, chain saw machine, drilling equipment over all coats have been seized and will be destroyed.
8. The operation will be conducted in all river bodies and forest reserves in all galamsey endemic regions. There will be aerial patrols and armed men will take immediate action on anyone who returns to these river bodies.
9. Helicopters will carry armed men to the sites every 3 days and action will be taken on those who return to the sites. Once cleared, there should be no return.
One of the many things Ghanaians will be looking for is whether indeed the 2 Chinese caught will be prosecuted as said. Many will also want to see what will happen to the seized equipment. The team explain that some of the things were not destroyed because they would be used as evidence in court. What do you make of the Operation to halt galamsey? Most importantly, are we stopping or halting galamsey?
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