Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating within the Ahafo Mine catchment area of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) over the weekend condemned a bloody clash involving Ghana Police and some residents of Kenyasi, in the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region.
The incident occurred at the company’s plant site, killing one people and injuring four others civilians.
Mr. Richard Adjei-Poku, Chief Executive Officer of the Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG), an organisation that promotes community rights and environmental justice, addressing a press conference in Sunyani, on behalf of the CSOs, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the shooting incident.
Adjei-Poku, described the clash as “barbaric, uncivilized and unconstitutional.”
According to Mr. Adjei-Poku, approximately 16 people have been killed since 2014, alleging that the 16 died as a result of being drowned in poorly constructed dams of Newmont or knocked down by vehicles working for the Company.
He said among the dead were 13 adults and three children, and several others have suffered various degrees of injuries.
Mr. Adjei-Poku further called on the government to ensure that all military personnel engaged to guard mining companies are withdrawn, noting that the protection of institutions within Ghana borders is the mandate of the Police.
He, however, called on the regulatory agencies such as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Minerals Commission to intervene and ensure that the right thing is done within the Newmont Ahafo Mine areas.
Monday, November 14, 2022 incident, which resulted in the death of one person, with four others in critical condition as police duty officers stationed with Newmont Mining Limited clash with the youth at Kenyasi Number 2 in the Ahafo region.
Mr. Adjei-Poku explaining the cause of the clash said personnel from the Formed Police Unit and Counter-terrorism Unit stationed with the Newmont had an altercation with a motor riders suspected to be thieves, gunning one person down in the ensuing struggle. His death sparked a revolt by the youth leading to four more people being shot.
Mr. Adjei-Poku insisted that the police could have arrested them because the four suspected thieves were unarmed and defenceless to harm the police.
The National Coalition of Mining (NCOM), another civil society organisation, supported the Groups to hold the conference to register their displeasure about what they described as rising abuses of human rights and dignity within the Mine area.
Sources say the youth besieged a bridge between Kenyasi No.2 and Ntotroso road in protest.
One vehicle believed to belong to the Newmont Company was burnt while another pickup was vandalised.
Meanwhile the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural resources, George Mireku Duker has visited the victims of the clash and assured them of government’s resolve to find and punish those culpable to maintain peace.
The Minister visited victims hospitalised at the Danhart Hospital in Kenyasi.
He hinted at the launch of an investigation into the incident and assured those found culpable would be brought to book.
Mireku Duker, however, made a passionate appeal to the youth of Kenyasi and the management as well as staff of Newmont Mining Limited to bury the hatchet and allow peace to prevail.
The Deputy Minister urged the two parties to employ dialogue as the means of settling their differences, warning that violence will only incur losses.