Mining | National

Assemblies ordered to take over security of mining areas

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister has asked District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives to takeover security in mining areas as the special taskforce pulls out this weekend.

Government has directed the withdrawal of all security officials from all mining concessions across the country in what the sector Minister, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini describes as a change in strategy in the fight against illegal mining.

Alhaji Fuseini says he expects DCEs and MCEs to take over security of the mining areas.

"You will recall that the President has said that earlier in the day before we started operations that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies ought to be responsible for  curtailing the menace of illegal mining", he intimated.

According to the minister, the inability or ability of the DCEs and the MCEs to curtail the illegal activities will be a bench mark that will be used in assessing the performance of the district assemblies.

"In carrying forward this directive to the district assemblies, we have brought them in", Alhaji Fuseini stressed.

He further noted that the exercise is on-going and arrests are made but "do not want it to be on that huge national scale to attract comments and attract the anger of some foreign countries".

Meanwhile, the DCE for Prestea Huni Valley, Wisdom Kudjoe, has already started beefing up security in the area, where Joynews has gathered that illegal miners were awaiting the pull out of the special taskforce.

According to the DCE,  he is putting in place detailed security in the area to deter illegal miners from returning to the pits.

He maintained that since the beginning of the directive from the president, the district had set out a machinery and which had made some arrest through the police commander.

"The team is still around except that if they hear a number of foreigners and small-scale miners come around, that is where we call for re-enforcements", he noted, adding that the district have enough policemen to hold the peace, when the security personnel are pulled out this week-end.