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Tontokrom residents renew demand for community mining; tabled condition for peace

Local News

17 days ago
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Residents of Manso-Tontokrom in the Amansie South district of the Ashanti Region, have tabled a condition on which peace could be returned to the area, following the gruesome killing of one of the youth during a clash between the community and a mining firm.

According to the residents, the current tension in the town, can only be managed after government listen to their appeal to set up a Community Mining Scheme. 

They noted that it is the only way out for peace to prevail in the densely populated mining community which is full of youths. 

“We want community mining to be set up here because when they came, they saw the number of people who make their living from this community. We are pleading with them; they should set up the mining scheme for peace to prevail,” they stated.

The Abusuapanin of Manso Tontonkrom, Opanin Kofi Manu, made this call at the burial of the slain youth, Rahman Mohammed, 35, who was shot during a clash between the residents and contracted private security personnel of Asanko Gold Mines.

Donning red and black attire, the burial was marked with sorrow, grieve and anger, as they ask the government to investigate and prosecute the person(s) who killed Rahman for peace to prevail in the area.

Opanin Kofi Manu, who spoke on behalf of the traditional leaders, accused Asanko Gold of being a bad neighbour, adding that they attempted to use foul means to take their lands from them, which ended in a chaotic situation.

Opanin Manu, also called on President Akufo Addo, to direct for a thorough investigation into the circumstances which led to the clash.

“We want to tell the president that there must be a thorough investigation into what happened because Asanko did not treat us fairly”. 

The clash between the two factions on Saturday, March 2, 2024, has led to the death of three people.

The traditional leader, sent signals that the disputed piece of land does not belong to Asanko Gold, arguing that, if an opportunity emerges and it benefits the masses, it must be sustained to address the challenges of the masses, but it should not be given to few individuals to enjoy.

“Per what has happened, we do not need Asanko in this community again because if we do not take care, the next incident could be an untold story.
The traditional leader further accused the mining firm of fermenting troubles in the area.

Backing his claims, Opanin Kofi, told the media that the president of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, has said if an organisation wants to operate in a community, they ought to go and speak with the people, but ASANKO is doing the opposite.

“The president is on record to have said if you are an organisation and wants to work in a community, go and meet the people and if the community agrees to your terms and conditions, then you can work.” 

“We have not had any agreement with ASANKO and before we could say jack, they opened fire on us which killed one of us and this is a painful loss which we are still mourning,” he added.

Admonishing the youth to be careful, Opanin Kofi Manu, urged the youth to be patient and disciplined.

 “When an issue crops, come and inform us about it and we will take whatever actions for you to be okay. You are not bad people but life and its intricacies have compelled you to be miners,” he said.

On his part, the father of the late Rahman Mohammed, Hassan Adams, told the media, that his son died while protesting in the interest of the community, but he was gunned down in the middle of the protest.

He has, therefore, asked the District Security Council and the Bekwai Police Command, to thoroughly investigate the matter. Mr Adams argued that one cannot lose his life just because the person was protesting.

“Demonstration is not a crime to warrant the death of someone; it has been almost two months since our brother was murdered. We want justice; we want investigation to establish who murdered our brother for the law to take its course,” he demanded.

The residents have since made a passionate appeal to the government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission, to grant them a concession, on which they can peacefully mine for their survival.

source: Theannouncergh.com