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Azumah Resources has no control over military presence on mining concessions

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Some chiefs in the Upper West Region are unhappy about the presence of armed military personnel on their lands near mining concessions owned by Azumah Resouces Limited.

They explained that the presence of the military scare community residents from going to the farms and also going about their daily activities.

The chiefs also alleged that some military personnel have carried out unwarranted attacks on the residents while seizing and consuming their livestock without fair compensation.

This came to the fore at a stakeholder’s forum held at the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in Wa.

The meeting was organised to help the chiefs understand the activities of Azumah Resource Limited and amicably settle their differences.

The Dussie Naa, Naa Djongare Mahama indicated that the continuous presence of the military would mean continuous attacks on the chiefs and people of areas near mining concession of Azumah Resource Limited.

Some chiefs led by Naa Djongae Mahama nearly boycotted the meeting until the mining company withdrew the military from those areas, particularly the Wa East District.

However, in a response, the Country Director of Azumah Resoucres Limited, Paul Amoako-Atta said the mining company had no control over the presence of the military on their concession.

He explained that although military personnel were present on the concessions in the Wa East, Nadowli/Kaleo District and other areas, Azumah Resources could not ask them to leave.

Mr. Amoako-Atta explained that military personnel deployed to protect their mining concessions were part of government’s decision to sanitize the mining sector and reclaim Ghana’s waterbodies through Operation Vanguard. He continued to say that the presence of military personnel was not only on Azumah Resource’s concessions, but all certified mining concessions across the country.

Mr. Amoaka-Atta stressed that the presence of personnel of Operation Vanguard was not to terrorize and brutalize residents, but to flush out illegal miners in those areas.

For his part, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Issahaku Chinnia reiterated that the presence of the military was rather to boost confidence and sanitize the mining sector.

He said as per the agreements, mining companies were to provide some level of support to the soldiers who have been deployed to their concessions; the reason why it looked like the military personnel were in those areas at the behest of Azumah Resoures Limited.

The Deputy Minister however, expressed disappointment as the alleged actions of the military.

He pledged to help the chiefs find an amicable to way to deal with those situations.

 

Story by Mark Smith

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