After almost two months of fighting illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, in three regions, the first batch of officers from the Ghana Armed Offices and the Ghana Police Service will be replaced by a new batch.
The new batch will begin serving in the operation – known as Operation Vanguard – from Friday, September 29.
“We are changing some of them,” the Public Relations Officer of the taskforce said, “but not the whole operation.”
Major Gariba Pabi at a changeover ceremony, which saw the Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Obed Akwa, and Inspector General of Police David Asante-Apeatu in attendance, said the operation has “gone all well” so far.
“We didn’t have any serious challenges,” he noted.
Though the ceremony took place at the Bundase Training Camp, the officers serving in the Operation are based in Osino, in the Eastern Region, Tarkwa, in the Western Region, and Konongo, in the Ashanti Region.
Maj. Gen. Akwa says there is likely to be an extension of the operation to other regions.
“This operation is bound to succeed,” he audaciously stated. “There is no other way and we are going to, in fact, expand it to cover other regions.”
He charged the new batch to build on the foundation laid by the first batch.
IGP Asante-Apeatu lauded the troops in following human rights regulations in their arrests.
He charged them to continue in that direction and make sure offenders are duly prosecuted.
After two months of operation, over 300 illegal miners were arrested. Eighty-seven were arrested in the Ashanti Region while 167 and 108 were arrested in the Western and Eastern regions respectively.