Newmont Mining Corp./ Ghana:
On November 27th an Oxfam America staff member and representatives of the Ghanaian NGO Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) were arrested by local police in the community of Yamfo, Ghana, and detained briefly. They were in Yamfo to discuss community members’ concerns regarding the Ahafo gold-mining project, operated by US-based Newmont Mining Corporation.
After the arrival of these individuals in Yamfo, local Newmont employees had a role in contacting local police and alleging that the Oxfam staff member, a Senegalese national, and the WACAM representatives were falsely claiming to represent Newmont. At no time did these persons claim to represent the corporation.
Oxfam America is deeply concerned by this regrettable incident and calls on Newmont and Ghanaian authorities to support an independent investigation to clarify the events surrounding it and the actions of company and police officials involved. The organization believes this incident further highlights the need for credible and legitimately independent monitoring of the human rights and environmental aspects of the Ahafo operation, including the mine’s arrangements with local security forces. The organization calls on the corporation to work with local community members, independent international and national technical experts, and NGOs to design and implement a credible monitoring system that will provide comprehensive and reliable information on the broad range of human rights and environmental issues at stake at Ahafo.
(Thanks at Valeri for the information)