The anti-galamsey is on and the government has shown that it has the will and capacity to stamp it out and will go ahead with the program in place.
The Chinese embassy in Ghana recently in a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, warned of dire consequences if the current clampdown on illegal Chinese miners continues.
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According to the embassy, many of the Chinese nationals involved in galamsey are the victims of fraud and blackmail and as such the police needed to deal with cases on individual bases.
“We think it is very important that any operation against illegal mining should be carried out in line with Ghanaian laws and international recognized norms, the mass arrest and media hype should be minimized, the cases should be dealt with on individual base and the legitimate rights of the miners should be respected.”
“Since a great part of Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining are also victims of fraud and blackmail, if casualties are incurred and plundering and looting take place during operation, it will be extremely harmful to the bilateral relations,” it said.
Chinese businessmen have been some of the major contributors of cash and equipment to the illegal mines. The mines have led to the pollution of many of Ghana’s rivers, raising concern about the access to potable water within the next decade.
However, the Information Minister Hamid said the letter by the Chinese would not have any negative impact on bilateral relations between the two countries and government will continue its drive to end galamsey.
“It has no consequence at all and will not have any effects at all whatsoever, so far as we have to stamp out galamsey.”
“There will be ‘no sacred cows’ and the Chinese threat does not bother me at all. It is OK for them to be seen [speaking for China] because if you flip the coin and you were a Chinese living in China you will put pressure on your government saying: ‘The Ghanaians are clamping down on our people and why is government silent?’ So it is okay for them to say something to appease their citizens.
He further added that “This is our country and we have to enforce our laws to sanitize the country and guarantee the future of our citizens.”