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Galamsey Fight: Government will not allow people to benefit from illegalities – Minister

Galamsey Fight: Government will not allow people to benefit from illegalities – Minister

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The government will not allow people to benefit from illegalities, however, it would support hardworking people, Minister for Defence, Mr Dominic Ntiwul, has observed.

“There is a collective sustainability plan to ensure that illegalities will not come back,” he said.

Mr Ntiwul observed on Wednesday in Accra at a Minister’s Press Briefing dubbed: “Update Prosecution of Persons Arrested as Part of Operation Halt II” a media interaction between the Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Defence Minister and the Media on measures taken to stop the galamsey menace in the country.

The fourth wave of the operation which was between 27th May to 29th May targeted removing all persons and buildings on the Ankobra River and its tributaries.

It had 420 all ranks men from Ghana Armed Forces involved in the undertaking.

According to Mr Ntiwul, since the beginning of the operation undertaken by the Ghana Armed forces, 105 excavators and 592 assorted items had been destroyed so far.

He, therefore, cautioned people involved in the illegal mining activities of the country to desist from them as the operation was not about individuals but about doing the right thing and protecting heritage.

“The armed forces are not leaving this very soon…the Pra River, for instance, the armed forces will go back for a second wave, there will be 5th, 6th and 7th operations we want to ensure we preserve our forest and water bodies.

“We will decide on packed excavators as a government and will also review the law to allow allowable distance beyond the initial 100 metres,” he cautioned.

Disputing public claim of announcing dates and timelines on operations to be carried out, Mr Ntiwul said: “We have not announced dates and times of operations, however, we give people the opportunity to move away. That is our interest and our primary focus is not to allow people to destroy our water bodies.”

Lauding local inhabitants in the Ankobrea area for condemning illegal activities there, he called on the public and chiefs to assist the government in combatting galamsey.

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