Former President Jerry Rawlings has kicked against the proposed “enhanced” military cooperation between Ghana and the USA.
According to him, “Ghanaians have enough foreigners dominating their economic and social life” and that adding foreign troops to the “discomfort” would be a bit too much.
Mr Rawlings made the comments on his Twitter handle Wednesday.
Cabinet has approved an agreement, giving unrestricted access to several Ghanaian facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military. The agreement, which was laid before Parliament Tuesday also states: “United States Contractors shall not be liable to pay tax or similar charge assess within Ghana in connection with this agreement”.
Many Ghanaians have condemned the move, saying such a military cooperation exposes Ghana to terrorism.
However, laying the draft proposal before Parliament Tuesday, Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul said, “The Draft Agreement was variously reviewed by the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department. Other State Agencies, namely; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MOF ARI), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Attorney-General’s Department, Ministry of the Interior (Mal), National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), made inputs into the Graft Agreement in order to ensure that it reflected the true interest of the country.”
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Ghana has debunked claims that, it is establishing a military base in Ghana. “The United States has not requested, nor does it plan to establish a military base or bases in Ghana,” it said in a statement.
The statement further said: “The current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana, is approximately 20 years old. It does not cover the current range and volume of bilateral exercises and assistance.
“This year, the United States of America is investing over $20million in training and equipment for the Ghanaian armed forces. Ghana is also once again preparing to train U.S Forces as it did in 2017.
“The United States and Ghana are planning joint security exercises in 2018 which require access to Ghanaian bases by U.S participants and those from other nations when included. We refer all questions to the government of Ghana.”