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Chinese envoy in Ghana urges nationals involved in illegal mining to leave


09:23, June 23, 2013

ACCRA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Gong Jianzhong on Friday urged nationals involved in illegal mining in the West African country to go back to their home country as soon as possible.

Gong told Xinhua that the government is highly concerned with the Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining in Ghana and is determined to join its Ghanaian counterpart to find ways to settle the problem.

Gong lauded the Ghanaian government for cooperation in facilitating the return of suspected illegal miners.

"Chinese in Ghana should always abide by the laws of the country, operate their businesses within the boundary of the law and stop illegal mining activities," Gong said in an interview with Xinhua.

Last month, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama launched an inter-ministerial task force to arrest, prosecute and deport any foreign nationals found in illegal mining, while meting out punishments to locals involved in those activities.

Many foreign nationals, including hundreds of Chinese workers, engaging in illegal mining were arrested in the crackdown early this month by Ghanaian security forces.

Calling on the nationals to return as soon as possible, the ambassador warned of risks if otherwise.

"The Ghanaian government is fully determined to eliminate the menace of illegal mining due to the serious downgrading of the environment. All the illegal miners should not risk themselves to wait for any illegal mining chance," Gong said.

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