Soldiers deployed to water bodies in an intensified national campaign to remove galamseyers say their operations can only be meaningful if government gives them unhindered power to embark on their routine.
The soldiers want a 'minimum allowable operational distance' of 2km from the river bodies to enable them to tackle the menace head-on.
"The guys are operating beyond 100 meters from the river yet their establishment are causing so much destruction to the river. So the caveat we're operating with, the 100m caveat is not feasible. If we need to really deal with this issue head-on, we have to review that caveat and give us freedom of action so that we can operate fully to ensure that we achieve the success we all desire. Other than that we will finish this operation and these guys will still be on the water and be destroying it and there will be no change," a livid Soldier who nabbed a Chinese small-scale miner advised.
At least 400 soldiers were deployed last week in a second phase of the galamsey fight(Operation Halt II) aimed at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies.
A press statement by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the second phase is focused on the tributaries of the Pra river which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners.
"The public is advised to stay away from mining in water bodies to avoid any action by the forces," the Minister of Information advised.
The first phase led to the arrest of two Chinese nationals and the seizure and destruction of equipment which were being used for illegal mining.