President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana has declared war against illegal miners following reports many of them were destroying the environment.
The government had substantially received complaint against Chinese illegal miners, with the help of their local collaborators.
Illegal mining has reportedly caused massive river pollution, destruction of arable lands, farms, cocoa plantations and forest reserves compromising sustainable development in the West African country.
Speaking at the coronation of one of the traditional rulers, Nana Effah Opinamang of Kwahu Obeng in the Easter Region on Saturday, Nana Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghana would continue to have a cordial relationship with the Chinese.
However, the government would ensure full enforcement of law and order without fear or favour toward any group of people.
President Akufo Addo does not hate the Chinese, but the laws governing foreign nationals in trade and business will be applied to the letter.
President Akufo Addo’s comments came days after officials at the Chinese embassy in Ghana, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources expressing their disgust about how the media were portraying illegal Chinese miners.
China also complained about a cartoon published by one of the newspapers, which allegedly defamed the Chinese President.
President Akufo Addo in the said speech reiterated that just like the law works for everyone in China irrespective of status, so will it be in Ghana.
Ghanaians are happy to hear him speak about ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) because of its devastating nature, Akufo Addo went on, and urged all Ghanaians to unite and fight it to save the country’s future.
The devastation of the Ghana’s environment by Chinese illegal miners has attracted international attention, with Australia, cocoa producing countries, NGOs and other institutions all lending support to the government to rid the country of Chinese illegal miners and their local collaborators, so as to restore sanity in the mining sector.
Meanwhile, observers fear the enviable diplomatic and bilateral relationship, existing for almost 60 years, could be affected.