Protesters clash with soldiers at Ghana gold mining town (Al Jazeera – May 31, 2023)

The clashes come as hundreds remain trapped in mining pits, unable or unwilling to resurface out of fear of arrest.

Heavily armed soldiers have fired shots to disperse protesters in the gold mining town of Obuasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana, amid an army crackdown on miners whom the government sees as illegal. Authorities arrested seven illegal miners on Monday for exiting a shaft belonging to one of the world’s largest gold miners, AngloGold, according to the company.

Reports then trickled in on Tuesday that hundreds of other miners were trapped underground. It was unclear whether those still underground were unable or reluctant to get out.

Relatives said the miners had been trapped for days without food or water. Dozens who got out were arrested for operating illegally in the area, their families told Al Jazeera, adding that police were requesting cash payments to release them.

“My husband is one of those who are trapped,” a woman who declined to give her name told Al Jazeera. “There is no other job in the area so we depend on mining for a living.” The woman said police were demanding $2,700 per person for their release.

For the rest of this article: