Illegal Miners Attack Forestry Commission Staff, Leaving One Injured

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A distressing incident occurred in the Cape 3 Points Forest Reserve in the Western Region, where John Baba Konlan, a member of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the Forestry Commission (FC), was shot in the head and back by unidentified illegal miners.

The incident unfolded when the Takoradi Forest District Office of the Forest Services Division received information about illegal mining activities near the Morrison Community within the Reserve.

Responding to the report, a team of nine personnel, comprising Rapid Response Unit staff and Forest Guards, was promptly dispatched to the site to investigate.

Upon their arrival, the team spotted illegal miners engaged in the notorious practice of “dig and wash.

” In an effort to apprehend the miners, the team members decided to approach from different angles and encircle them. However, within minutes, gunshots were heard, and chaos ensued.

The illegal miners fled, leaving their tools behind, and it was discovered that John Baba Konlan had been shot.

The injured staff member was immediately attended to, and the team made the challenging journey back to their vehicle, transporting Konlan, who was vomiting blood, to safety.

He was rushed to the Effia Nkwanta Government Hospital in the Western Region and subsequently referred to the Cape Coast Regional Hospital for further treatment.

His condition led to a referral to the University of Ghana Medical Centre in Accra, where he underwent treatment and has since been discharged with instructions for a follow-up.

Medical examinations revealed the extent of the injuries, including multiple metallic bullets lodged in various parts of Konlan’s head, scalp, neck, and other areas.

The case has been reported to the authorities at the Takoradi Central Police Station, although no arrests have been made at this time.

This unfortunate incident is the latest in a series of attacks against Forestry Commission staff.

It follows the recent kidnapping of Vitus Yourdong, another member of the Rapid Response Team, who was abducted during an operation in the Asukese Forest Reserve in the Bono Region.

Yourdong’s ordeal lasted over two weeks before he was eventually released in the Eastern Region.

These incidents underscore the dangers and challenges faced by those dedicated to protecting Ghana’s natural resources and enforcing environmental regulations.

Such incidents serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for enhanced security measures and stricter enforcement against illegal mining operations.

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