JOY NEWS: Congrats for exposing "rogue soldiers" operating in the Amansie South District, but I doubt that the GHANA ARMY was helping Chinese involved in illegal mining.
I am a Citizen.
I congratulate JOY NEWS for exposing "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators operating in mining areas in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region.
However, I wish JOY NEWS could investigate further to substantiate or refute allegations making the rounds that the Ghana Army was providing some assistance to Chinese involved in illegal mining in the Amansie South general operation area.
As a Researcher, Analyst and Writer on Military Affairs, I did my checks and I doubt reports that the Military High Command deployed soldiers to provide cover for Chinese engaged in illicit mining in the Amansie South District.
On 31st January, 2020, I sighted minutes of the Ghana Police Council in which the Council stated that after careful review of the activities of OPERATION VANGUARD, it had taken the decision "to withdraw all Military Personnel from all mining sites including OPERATION VANGUARD in the next three (3) months. The Council's view is that the Military should not be deployed perpetually to undertake Civil Police duties especially in illegal mining."
Furthermore, the Police Council "urged the Minister of Interior to instruct the IGP to fill in the vacancies which will be left by the withdrawal of the Military with Police Personnel within Operation Vanguard."
However, even though the Police Council had ordered the withdrawal of soldiers from mining areas, there have been reports on the activities of some "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators who have been harassing and extorting monies from mining companies, especially illegal miners in the Western, Western North and Ashanti Regions.
So, I was pleased to hear that JOY NEWS tracked these "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators to mining areas in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
Congratulation, JOY NEWS.
However, it is good to note what Sources and Agents say was the Military High Command's efforts to gather intelligence with a view to arrest the "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators since their activities had not been approved.
I am not a fan of the current Military High Command (MCH). But I congratulate the MHC for being proactive in taking steps to effect the arrest of those "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators.
I intend to provide for further investigations details of a former senior government official and a senior National Security Official (names withheld) who allegedly have been using these "rogue soldiers," especially at the Odahu village in the Apampam Forest Reserve.
It will be useful for JOY NEWS and the Ghana Armed Forces to compare notes and both institutions will realise that the soldiers captured in the JOY NEWS video circulating on social media are not the "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators.
My checks with reliable sources in the Amansie South District indicate that the soldiers in the JOY NEWS video were regular soldiers despatched from a Tontonkrom Operation Calm Life Detachment to arrest the rogue elements who were attired in what looked like Ghana Army desert camouflage uniforms.
It is unfortunate and regrettable that the JOY NEWS camera did not capture the "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators who reportedly bolted.
Those "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators will have to be exposed and brought to book.
In order to establish why authorised soldiers were deployed to the Amansie West District, will the former officials of the District Security Committee (DISEC) of the Amansie South District speak to the minutes of their meeting of Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, in which it was resolved "that a letter be written to the National Security (Secretariat) for the deployment of a security patrol team to the District to help combat crime and to also support the District with security vehicles?
Will the former DISEC members speak to their letter number ASDA/K.A.1/32/01/95, with no date, signed by Hon. William Bediako Asante, District Chief Executive, requesting for the deployment of a Military/Police patrol team to the District, specifically around Tontonkrom, to check the activities of a militia formed by indegenes and foreigners?
I look forward to the Military High Command clearing the air that the "rogue soldiers" and their collaborators were not authorised for their obnoxious activities in the mining areas, and also that the Ghana Armed Forces did not provide any security assistance to Chinese engaged in illegal mining activities in the Amansie South District?
Owula Mangortey - Odumase-Dodowa
Note: The opinion expressed in this commentary is that of the writer but not ghenvironment.org.