Government must reconsider deal to host US ‘military base’ in Ghana – Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs

Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has cautioned government to reconsider the Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana and the United States which will give the latter space to establish a camp in Ghana for its military force.

According to the Member of Parliament the government should engage in comprehensive political consultation rather than rushing for its ratification by parliament.

The Government of Ghana has sent to Parliament for ratification, a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation between Ghana and the United States, which will give the Americans some space in the country to set up a camp for its military forces.

The document states that Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding on March 8, 2018, and recommended to Parliament to ratify the agreement to allow the US forces and their equipment unhindered access into Ghana.

“This agreement seeks to commit our country to an agreement which is in perpetuity, you can only back out of this agreement after serving notice for one year, that is why we are saying government that the government does not have to rush they should engage in broad base political consultation just as we did when we were considering the offer of the GITMO 2”.

” The agreement that is brought parliament is not signed and this means the agreement illegal” Details of the agreement

Per the agreement, the US military force is among other things to be exempted from paying tax on the equipment to be brought into Ghana.

The US will also be given the chance to set up its own telecommunication system, but will also be allowed to use Ghana’s radio spectrum free of charge.

The document supposedly sent to Parliament by the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, had an introductory letter signed by Cabinet’s Secretary, Mercy Debrah-Karikari. “Cabinet at its twenty-eighth meeting held on Thursday, 8th March, 2018, discussed a report presented by the Security Committee of Cabinet on a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Defence on the above subject.”

“The Memorandum sought Cabinet approval for an Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Ghana on Defence co-operation, the Status of the United States Forces and Access to the Use of Agreed Facilities and Areas in the Republic of Ghana.

Cabinet approved the Memorandum and recommend same to Parliament for ratification. I should be grateful if you could take requisite action on the decision by Cabinet,” the letter added.

 

Source: Ghanaweb

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