The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) has called on the government to bring the military in the “Operation Halt” to order.
The association said after seven days, if all efforts to get government to bring the military to order fails, it would resort to legal action against the government.
At a press conference by the GNASSM at the John Benedict Ventures, a small-scale mining site at Twifo Ntafrewaso in the Twifo Atti Mokwa District in the Central Region last Monday, the Communications Director of the association, Mr Abdulai Razak Alhassan, said the association wanted the government to, as a matter of urgency, clarify directives given on the militarisation of efforts to stop galamsey in concessions in the communities, to bring sanity in the sector.
The press conference was held in reaction to military activities at several concessions at Twifo Ntafrewaso, Asamoahkrom and Awisem as part of the Operation Halt.
Some security personnel known to be members of the “Operation Halt” last Thursday stormed the sites and torched facilities and equipment running into millions of cedis.
The members said the activities of the military had led to the loss of several machines and brutalities on legal small-scale miners insisting that it was a betrayal of trust.
“We express our total displeasure about government’s u-turn on issues raised at the recently held small-scale mining dialogue at the Accra International Conference Centre,” Mr Alhassan said.
He added: “We never discussed militarisation in the fight or using brutal force in the fight against illegal mining.”
He said they wanted clarification on the President’s directives to the military, querying whether the President ordered the military to burn excavators on site or seize them.
He said all that the government and the ministry had to do was to liaise with the Minerals Commission to know the legally acquired concessions before the military action.