Government has deployed a task force of 400 security personnel to carry out an operation to put an end to all forms of illegal mining activities, popularly known as 'galamsey' in the country.
The operation dubbed: 'Operation Vanguard' is a presidential initiative which forms part of efforts by government to safeguard the environment and water bodies, and to protect life and properties from the activities of illegal miners.
It is made up of well-trained, experienced and highly motivated personnel drawn from the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air force and Ghana Police Service.
The initial deployment of personnel will operate in the three most-affected regions of the country namely, Ashanti, Eastern and the Western regions and stay in the illegal mining communities until the degraded lands are restored, and illegal mining activities totally eradicated.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Accra, the Defence Minister, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, warned that any attempt to resist efforts of the task force in the fight against galamsey would be met with strong resistance.
He cautioned people daring the task force refrain from such an act because the whole nation was behind them.
"Don't dare them, it will not be in your interest to dare them", the Defense Minister emphasized.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Derry; encouraged the taskforce to fight with courage and fortitude and exhibit the highest degree of professionalism with a clear conscience.
"We cannot fail in this operation, failure is not an option, we shall put an end to all forms of illegal mining activities", Mr. Derry stated.
On his part, the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu assured members of the communities where the operation would be undertaken that the taskforce would not intimidate them, because their target was the illegal miners and that they should go about their normal duties.
The Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. General Obed Boamah Acquah, said the taskforce had been provided with additional logistics like vehicles, clothing and equipment to facilitate effective operation.
Lt. General Acquah noted that 'Operation Vanguard' was different because officers had undergone an intensive pre-deployment training and were combat-ready and sure of success.
Source: ISD (Doris Sodjah)