It’s a thriving illegal mining industry in the border community of Sapelliga in the Upper East Region, where scores of young people engage in mining activities daily.

However, their operations pose a serious threat to the environment and the international boundary line between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The Ghana Boundary Commission and the Upper East Regional Security Council have taken action to address the situation.

Speaking to the illegal miners on Tuesday, May 14, the Head of REGSEC and Upper East Regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Saleh, expressed concern about the potential exploitation of the situation by terrorists to fund their nefarious activities.

He urged the illegal miners to cease their activities immediately and vacate the area.

“There are insurgents there and there are terrorists who want to infiltrate our country and to be able to perpetrate what they are doing, they need finance so they engage in what you people are doing.

So in order to save the people of this country want to stop issues of this nature so that people don’t have means of funding their nefarious activities.

“So please, it is for that reason that we are putting this measure in place to save this country and to save the people of this country. We are enjoying peace and we must appreciate the peace we are enjoying. We will not allow the interest of any individual or any group of persons to affect the peace does the country Ghana is enjoying,” he said.

One of the illegal miners, Abille Fatawu says he uses money from the galamsey activity to fund his education.

“I started this work when I was in SHS 1… when I vacate I come here and work. When I get small [money], I use it to also help in my education,” he told JoyNews.

He is currently at the tertiary level and remains committed to this mining job as his source of fund.

“It is through this that I got money to get to where I am now.”

Commissioner-General of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Maj Gen Emmanuel Kotia said the activities of the illegal miners continue to pose a serious threat to the international boundary line between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

He stated that some of the country’s boundary pillars have been destroyed, which could lead to territorial disagreements.

“Some of these activities lead to remove off international boundaries pillars. And for that matter, there was no clarity so far as the markings of the boundary is concerned and then because we have quite a sizable number of people coming from Burkina Faso to do a lot of illegal activities here, if we don’t take care whiles these boundary pillars are removed some of our territories can be taken or probably can be declared as part of Burkina Faso, because these markings are no visible on the ground.

“That is the reason why one we have decided to facilitate the construction of the patrol routes,” Maj Gen Kotia explained.


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