Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has cautioned persons mining in the evening to desist from doing so because their safety cannot be guaranteed.
The Minister disclosed at a press briefing on Wednesday that these illegal miners are armed, hence for the uniformed men to work in the night, they would have to defend themselves.
He, has, therefore advised illegal miners not to risk their lives by mining in the night because the soldiers will fish them out.
”We know and we know the towns where they are doing that so we would come after you. Don’t try it. And in the night, for the safety of the soldiers, I cannot guarantee your safety. No soldier would go out in the night without trying to protect himself. So if you go out there to mine in the midnight, I cannot guarantee your safety. No soldier would go out in the night without trying to protect himself. So if go out there mine in the midnight, I cannot guarantee your own safety when the soldiers apprehend you. Don’t go out. It is not worth it. The person sending you should himself go with you to do the mining. Ask him to send his children with you first,” he advised.
The Minister further declared that no amount of PR will make the government withdraw the soldiers from the ‘Operation Halt’ activities.
He said some persons did same when a taskforce was set up to deal with galamsey in the first term of the government but the team will not be moved by PR gimmicks because they have been asked to remove all illegal miners mining in our water bodies.
He warned, the team is not stopping and will continue to launch new phases until the issues have been resolved.
He said when the soldiers counted number of excavators from the Brim area, they counted 700, used on daily basis by the illegal miners.
The impact of galamsey he decried is devastating and the only approach, is what we are witnessing.
He said the galamsey is being operated by highly influential and wealthy personalities.
But we don’t have to allow their selfish interest win, we must protect our water bodies, he stressed.