Investigate youth, Newmont clash …CSOs to govt

Civil society or­ganisations (CSOs) in the Ahafo Region have called on government to institute an investi­gation into Tuesday’s disturbance between the youth of Kenyasi No. 2 and Newmont Ahafo Mines, resulting in death of one and four others sustaining injuries.

The CSOs are Livelihood and Environmental Ghana, Ahafo Civil Society Organisation and National Coalition on Mining (NCOM).

The CSOs are of the view that the investigation would unravel the truth and bring a lasting peace between the residents and New­mont as well as foster a cordial relationship between them.

The group further demanded the withdrawal of the military who currently were in a joint op­eration with the police to protect lives and properties there.

They explained that the police were mandated by the constitu­tion to carry out such duties and that the presence of the military in the area was creating tension and fear among the residents.

At a media briefing on Sunday in Sunyani, a spokesperson for the group, Richard Adjei-Poku, said, among other things, that the agreement for the military to guard mining companies such as Newmont should be abrogated.

“We believe that protection of institution within the country is the mandate of the police. We cannot accept that the military is virtually being called on to be at war with its citizens.”

They also called on the regu­latory authorities such as Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency and the Minerals Commission to call Newmont to order by curbing human right abuses being perpe­trated by the mining company.

The CSO’s alleged that apart from the killings of the persons by security personnel, there were records of brutalities perpetuated by Newmont and state security agencies.

Mr Adjei noted that there were communities which were experi­encing series of serious environ­mental and social challenges as a result of Newmont’s operations, citing several python attacks and water pollution that communi­ty members suffered, with its attendant communicable diseases all due to the mining company’s activities.

It would be recalled on Tues­day that a group of irate youth from Kenyasi No. 2 clashed with the police, leading to the death of one person and four others incurring injuries.

It was unclear what triggered the confusion but information available to Ghanaian Times indicated that Newmont Ahafo Mines has been preventing the youth from engaging in galamsey on their concession and this might have infuriated them, leading to the scuffle.

Several vehicles, including resi­dential facilities, were destroyed in the melee.

One person has been shot dead while four others injured following a shooting incident be­tween the youth of Kenyasi No. 2 and the police yesterday in the Ahafo Region.

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