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TAMCI demands apology from Talensi DCE & RM over student’s death at Gbane

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Talensi Mining Communities Initiative (TAMCI), a youth group advocating for the rights of mining communities in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, has demanded apologies from the District Chief Executive (DCE), Duanab Pearson Thomas, and Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, following the tragic death of Bright, a University of Cape Coast student.

Bright was fatally shot by military operatives during a confrontation in the Gbane community.

According to TAMCI, prior concerns from chiefs and small-scale miners, against the forceful closure of 15 mining pits were disregarded by the District Chief Executive and the Regional Minister.

“Apologize to some traditional rulers, opinion leaders, assembly members, and leaders of the small-scale miners who warned the DCE, Mr. Duanab Pearson Thomas, and the Regional Minister not to undertake such a dangerous action of closing their mining pits but were ignored.”

Despite this community’s concerns, a joint security force, according to TAMSCI, acting on behalf of Earl International, moved to shut down ‘illegal’ mining pits.

On March 15, 2024, a joint security force, consisting of military and police personnel under the District Security Council and Regional Security Council, responded to a request from Earl International Mining Company. Earl International sought the closure of 15 purported illegal mining pits within its concession area.

TAMCI, therefore, accused the DCE and Regional Minister of misinforming the public about the nature of the situation, claiming that the crackdown targeted illegal miners disrupting Earl International’s operations.

Speaking at a press conference in Bolgatanga on April 2, 2024, TAMCI’s president, Bismark Azumah, emphasized the failure of local authorities to maintain peace and adequately negotiate compensation for affected small-scale miners, which directly contributed to the violent clashes between security personnel and the Gbane community.

“The small-scale miners since 1992 have had underground hard rock mining pits. They developed over the years, registering their concessions at various levels with the Minerals Commission. Some have valid licenses; others have expired licenses seeking renewal, while others have pending applications at the Minerals Commission. In every concession, there are many mining pits owned by different people. Every pit has a financier, director, various workers and laborers, and local support service providers. There are many related businesses such that the site is a complete business community with health, education, electricity, market, and relevant facilities.”

Source: A1Radioonline.Com|101.1MHZ|Moses Apiah|Bolgatanga|

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