A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Concerned Citizens have called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to protect communities from illegal miners, especially in Sefwi Abrokofe.
This was in a 11-point communique jointly signed and issued by the Convenor, Eco-Conscious Citizens Madam Awula Serwah and 14 other members of the Coalition, which is seeking justice for teenagers who were recently shot by a security officer of Chinese illegal miners.
The communique stated that “we, the undersigned, register our outrage at the shooting of teenagers by illegal miners at Sefwi Abrokofe, in the Sefwi Juaboso District.”
The statement explained that the police had arrested and placed in custody the person, who allegedly shot the teenagers at Sefwi Abrokofe, killing one and injuring two.
It reminded the Ghana Police Service of the mandate “to protect and preserve internal security of the country through law enforcement”, and “we urge the Police to act on its mandate, by protecting the Sefwi Abrokofe community from illegal miners”.
It also urged “Operation Halt” to end the activities of illegal miners in Sefwi Abrokofe and other communities including Sefwi Boinzan, Sefwi Agyemandiem, Asempaneye, Kwawkrom, Mafia, and Bonsu Nkwanta.
The communique thanked the Boinzan Assembly Member for securing the release of the teenager who was arrested saying “the perception should not be that there is a pattern of protecting alleged criminals rather than those whose safety and livelihood are being threatened.”
It noted that recently, Environmental Activists in Assemkrom trying to protect their environment from illegal miners were arrested on what they believed to be trumped up charges.
“Our information is that the teenagers took the advice of the President to be “active citizens, not spectators”, and were protecting their environment from the destructive activities of illegal miners. They put their lives on the line, and sadly one lost his life. This is not the first time young people protecting the environment have been killed. Ghanaians have a constitutional right to feel safe in their own country and that armed illegal miners posed a clear and present danger’.
The communique called on the President to cause the removal of illegal miners, who had invaded the communities and ensure that sanity was restored.