A body was discovered in Atewa Forest, at Sagyimase in the Abuakwa South Municipality of the Eastern region over the weekend, following an alleged violent clash between two illegal mining gangs. According to sources, there was an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the murder of one individual, and it is believed that others sustained gunshot wounds. After the fatal confrontation, the illegal miners fled, abandoning the body in the bush. Speaking in an interview with Ghenvironment.com, the Chief of Sagyimase, Nana Barima Danquah confirmed the incident, saying that the body has been retrieved by the police and transported to the morgue at the Kibi Government Hospital. The Chief has cautioned the youth to desist from the illegal activity in the Atewa forest which is a critical watershed and biodiversity hub. Nana Barima Danquah appealed to the government to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the area, saying it would help deal with the illegal mining menace. Meanwhile, CSOs and Community members are blaming the Forestry Commission for not doing enough to protect the important watershed. They are also asking where is the military the President and the Lands Minister indicated have been deployed to cordon off all forests against Galamsey activities. “The illegal miners are destroying the Atewa forest in the full glare of the officials of the Forestry Commission and the Okyeman Environmental Taskforce, meanwhile this forest defines our livelihood, and it is imperative that it is protected”, Appiah Danso, a resident of Sagyimase said.