By News Desk
A news report circulating via certain media houses, since Tuesday, 19th January, 2021, that soldiers of the Ghana Army, have been providing security services for a Chinese Mining firm, in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region, have been rebuffed by the Army as misrepresentation of facts.
Providing the historical facts and the present state, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Central Command (C/COMD) – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Joseph Aduko Aphour, under whose command falls the Area of Responsibility (AOR) of the Amansie District, which unfortunately, has seen ravaging mining activities.
It may be recalled that that part of the country has witnessed a gun-wielding militia group, who have terrorized citizens and others, whom they considered as opponents to their nefarious mining activities.
The GOC stating the facts, said that in June 2019, the Amansie District Assembly, requested for the deployment of a joint military/Police force, to check the activities of a militia group, which was said to comprise of some locals, Burkinabes, Guineans and Nigeriens, resulting in high number of crime incidences.
As a result of the request, C/COMD had been tasked by High Command, to jointly conduct OPERATION CALM LIFE with the Civil Police, thus, this assignment has been ongoing at places such as Tontokrom, Apapam, Odahu and their environs, since June 2019.
C/COMD received information that some persons in military uniforms, were going about extorting monies from mining companies, after which the Command was directed to effect the arrest of the said soldiers, should they appear in the Command’s AOR.
On Saturday, 16th January, 2021, further information received indicated that the purported soldiers, had moved to Odahu, a village located in Apapam Forest Reserve, hence the OP CALM LIFE Detachment at Tontokrom, was tasked to arrest the group.
As part of the strategy to arrest the perpetrators, a three-man under-cover patrol team was therefore dispatched to track the said syndicate, to aid in their arrest and on the afore-mentioned date, the under-cover team sighted ten (10) men dressed in Ghana Army uniforms, others in various desert camouflage uniforms, five other men in civil clothes, in a section of the forest reserve.
The under-cover team then alerted the OP CALM LIFE Detachment at Tontokrom, who moved in swiftly with a military/police detachment to effect the group’s arrest, however, the soldiers bolted upon seeing the dust trails of the approaching vehicles of the Detachment, who were with the Military Police (MP).
General Aphour therefore stated that the soldiers who were spotted in the video news doing the rounds, were rather on authorized duty to effect the arrest of the rogue soldiers, and were not the offending ones.