Obuasi to get Military Forward Operating Base to boost security     

AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, is partnering the Ghana Armed Forces to establish a Forward Operating Base for the Military at Anyankyirem, near Obuasi.

The project, estimated at $6 million, aims at contributing to enhanced security in Obuasi and surrounding areas.

It would be recalled that AngloGold Ashanti, recently commissioned an ultramodern District Police Headquarters in Obuasi, and had also provided vehicles and other logistics to the Police to aid their operations.

At a groundbreaking ceremony to commence the construction of the Forward Operating Base, Mr Awie Frey, Acting Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti, said the project was in sync with the Ghana Armed Forces’ decision to establish such Bases at several locations across the country with the aim of protecting Ghana’s land borders as well as the safety of all persons, infrastructure and investments within Ghana.

 The project, which is expected to accommodate 350 military personnel, would have dining areas, command and control centers, medical aid facilities, an administration block, a helipad, training sheds, recreational areas, among other amenities.

Mr Frey said the setting up of the forward operating base would help to significantly reduce or eliminate illegal mining and its associated criminal activities, which had been hampering the operations of AngloGold Ashanti over the years.

 Major-General Bismarck Kwasi Onwona, Chief of the Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, said the Forward Operating Base in Obuasi was designed to contain a force element of about half of a battalion.

He said the facilities would include offices, accommodation for all ranks, a multi-purpose hall, as well as logistics installations such as Medical Post, Quartermaster Yard, Garage and Workshop.

Major-Genral Onwona said the capabilities that the Forward Operating Base would deliver include, timely intelligence, secured communication, physical protection, robust deterrence, and rapid reaction to incidents.

“The close proximity of the military will ensure situational awareness and effective coordination at all times.

 “This will guarantee that potential threats to security of AngloGold Ashanti are timeously identified, and measures put in place to avert their escalation. But in the unlikely event that they occur, troops would be on hand to rapidly react to curb any excesses and restore order,” Major- General Onwona added.

He commended Nana Osei Kwadwo II, Paramount Chief for Bekwai Traditional Area, for providing the land and bestowing his blessings on the project.

Mr Elijah Adansi-Bonah, Chief Executive of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, said the Government was committed towards improving security in Obuasi, which had eluded AngloGold Ashanti, resulting in illegal miners encroaching on the company’s mining concession.

He said the establishment of the Forward Operating Base lends credence to the overwhelming support AGA enjoyed from government and all its agencies.

Mr Adansi-Bonah pointed out that the project when completed would further boost security and reduce or permanently eradicate illegal mining from Obuasi and its neighboring communities.

Nana Boakye Yiadom II, Bekwai Mawerehene, who represented the Bekwaihene lauded AngloGold Ashanti for financing the project to help further improve security in the area.

He pledged the support of the traditional authorities to the operations of AngloGold Ashanti and assured that the chiefs would continue to cooperate with the company by releasing lands for future projects.

Source: GNA

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