The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker, has appealed to the youth of Kenyasi and workers of Newmont Mining Limited to pursue dialogue in settling differences to ensure peace in the area.
He said both the mining company and community owed each other a fiduciary duty, saying it was imperative that calmness was restored for the two parties to enjoy the full benefit of mining.
Addressing the community and the management at separate meetings yesterday, the Deputy Minister explained that violence would only incur losses and impede mutual growth.
“I urge all two parties to employ dialogue as a means of settling your differences. Violence only denies us the opportunity to grow and benefit from the relationship between the community and Newmont,” he added.
Mr Duker explained that his visit to the area was to unravel the cause of the chaos and disturbance that occurred in the area.
He also visited the injured victims and expressed sympathies of the government.
He said findings from the disturbance that led to the death of one resident would be analysed by the ministry and forwarded to the security agencies for the necessary actions to be taken.
He assured that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would collaborate with the community, Newmont and security agencies to ensure that all those who acted untowardly were dealt with for peace to prevail.
Mr Duker appealed to the traditional authorities to counsel the youth against violence and exercise restraint in their bid to strive for what they believe was due their community.
“I will urge you all to exercise restraint and be in the known that we are not overlooking the issue. Government is keenly following matters and my presence here is to show that we are with you and concerned with all that is going on,” he said.
In his engagement with Newmont Mining Limited, the Deputy Minister urged the management to cooperate with the security agencies to restore calm and ensure the safety of their staff.
He reiterated government’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for the company and other licensed mining companies to thrive.
To establish a harmonious relationship with the traditional authorities to facilitate its smooth operation in the area, Mr Duker advised the management of the company to take steps to engage leaders of the community.
On Tuesday, there was a disturbance at Kenyasi No. 2 in the Ahafo Region, resulting in the police allegedly shooting at some irate youth in the town, killing one person and injuring four others.
One of the injured persons was still receiving treatment at Donhart Hospital in Kenyasi, three others were treated and discharged, while the dead body was deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.
Vehicles and properties belonging to a multi-national mining company, Newmont Ahafo Mines, were also damaged in the melee.
The incident, which started as a peaceful protest by youth in the twin-town against the company, degenerated into a full blown confrontation between the youth and the police, leading to fatality and injuries, burning of lorry tyres and destruction of properties.
BY TIMES REPORTER