Former President Jerry John Rawlings has waded into the controversial military agreement between the Government of Ghana and the United States of America.
According to the former military leader, Ghanaians “may love Americans, but not to the extent of living with foreign troops on such a scale.”
The Government of Ghana, according to a leaked document, has approved the agreement with the US to set up a military base in Ghana and also allow unrestricted access to a host of facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military—a claim the government of Ghana and the US denied.
“The United States has not requested, nor does it plan to establish a military base or bases in Ghana,” a statement by the US Embassy in Ghana said Tuesday.
The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has stated that government cannot back out of the agreement with the US.
“We have already signed a 1998 agreement, we have signed the 2015 agreement, and we have already caught ourselves in this net and we cannot back out because this is just a combination of the two agreements,” the Bimbilla MP said Wednesday afternoon.
Per the agreement, “all existing buildings, non-relocatable structures, and assemblies affixed to the land in agreed facilities and areas, including ones altered or improved by United States forces, remain the property of Ghana. Buildings constructed by United States forces shall become the property of Ghana, once constructed, but shall be used by United States forces until no longer needed by United States forces.United States forces shall return as the sole and unencumbered property of Ghana any agreed facility or area, or any portion thereof, including non-relocatable structures and assemblies constructed by United States forces, once no longer needed by United States forces. The Parties or their Executive Agents shall consult regarding the terms of return of any agreed facility or area, including possible compensation for improvements or construction.
“United States forces and United States contractors shall retain title to all equipment, materiel, supplies, relocatable structures, and other moveable property that have been imported into or acquired within the territory of Ghanaian connection with this Agreement,” Article 6 of the agreement reads.
“Ghana recognizes that it may be necessary for United States forces to use the radio spectrum. United States forces shall be allowed to operate its’ own telecommunication systems (as telecommunication is defined in the 1992 Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union). This shall include the right to utilize such means and services as required to ensure full ability to operate telecommunication systems, and the right to use all necessary radio spectrum for this purpose. Use of the radio spectrum shall be free of cost to United States forces.”
But the former President in a tweet Wednesday warned the government not to go ahead with the deal.
“Ghanaians may love Americans, but not to the extent of living with foreign troops on such a scale. Ghanaians have enough foreigners dominating their economic and social life.
“Adding foreign troops to the discomfort would be a bit too much. Ghanaians have felt stateless before in my lifetime. Let’s not go there again,” Rawlings said.