Official representatives of China in Ghana have pleaded with law enforcement agencies tracking illegal Chinese miners to treat them humanely.
The leader of a Chinese delegation which stormed Ghana last week, Qui Xuejun, wanted the law enforcement agencies to treat Chinese nationals in a “mild and humane” manner.
The Chinese delegation, consisting of both government officials and businessmen, met with Ghanaian officials and as part of the discussions, they pleaded with Ghana to give a human face to the crackdown of Chinese nationals in the illegal gold mining business.
According to Mr. Xuejun in a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, law enforcement agencies should “deal with the problem especially carry out law enforcement in a mild and humane manner.”
Ghana is currently faced with a disturbing phenomenon where thousands of Chinese nationals have invaded the country due to the lure of gold which they mine from small-scale mining concessions. Unfortunately, the business is exclusively reserved for Ghanaians.
President John Dramani Mahama has set up an inter-ministerial taskforce tasked to track down all foreigners, particularly Chinese nationals engaged in the illegal gold mining business.
Several hundreds of Chinese nationals have been arrested in special military-cum immigration operations to clamp down on illegal Chinese gold miners dotted around countless small-scale mining concessions in the country.
A number of these sting operations set up to stop the invasion of foreigners in the small-scale mining business have resulted in Chinese casualties.
Unlike traditional illegal mining operations known as ‘galamsey’ where artisanal tools are deployed to conduct the mining operations, the Chinese come with heavy duty earth moving machines which have left several farmlands, and forest reserves degraded. Those extracting alluvial gold have also left countless river bodies polluted.
“We have seen for ourselves the mining sites…my impression is that illegal mining cause pollution to the environment,” Mr. Quijun told the media.
Last week, over 200 illegal Chinese miners were rounded up and repatriated to their home countries. Public Relations Director at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Francis Palmdeti told DAILY GUIDE the Chinese admitted entering the country illegally without genuine work permits and were ready to go back to their country immediately after they were processed.
Last week, several Chinese nationals hit the streets in Ghana to protest what they referred to as inhumane treatment of their compatriots in Ghana.
“This issue should be settled by not only the Chinese government, but also with the Ghanaian government,” stated the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Gong Jianzhong.
Ghanaian immigration and Chinese officials have no clue about the actual population of both legal and illegal Chinese immigrants in Ghana, Gong Jianzhong stated.
This consequently meant that there was no way officials can keep track of the number of Chinese immigrants engaged in illegal gold mining operations in the country.
Daily Guide could confirm that scores of Chinese illegal immigrants elude border guards daily to sneak into Ghana, and head straight to the several mining locations.
The Chinese Ambassador, Gong Jianzhong has admitted that the Chinese embassy has not yet developed any scheme to gather database of its citizens in Ghana as several hundreds of them flock the country daily.
Several others are said to enter the country through neighbouring countries. The Chinese Ambassador admitted the frustration of tracking its citizens: “We are very frustrated,” he said.
The bulk of the illegal miners are said to hail from a city in China called Sanglin City where most of the residents are farmers.
It came as a shock to the Chinese authorities how these farmers got to know the topography of Ghana’s mineral-rich zones.
Mr. Xuejun who is the Deputy Director General of the Consular department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, believed the influx of the Chinese was aided by some faceless Ghanaian collaborators; “Many of them are farmers, they never go abroad how…how can they know there is gold here [Ghana] in some forest?”
Source: Daily Guide
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|