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Ghana’s Defense Minister Is Sending the Military Back to the Countryside to Crack Down on Illegal Gold Mining

Ghana Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul

Facing a surge of public pressure that the government isn’t doing enough to stop small-scale illegal gold mining (a practice known as galamsey,) Ghana’s Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul announced that a joint Army, Navy and Air Force task force will be redeployed back into the countryside to resume “Operation Halt.”

Two Chinese miners were arrested in the first phase of the operation that took place at the end of April. Although Chinese galamseyers are by no means the only illegal miners in rural Ghana, it’s been a persistent problem over the past decade and fueled much of the current public anger over the government’s inability/unwillingness to bring the situation under control. There are also widespread rumors that Chinese small-scale miners are operating under the protection of Ghanaian power brokers.

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