Rawlings Not Sure Of Foreign Troops On Ghanaian Soil

“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.

Former President Rawlings
Former President Rawlings

 

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 former leader expressed the thought in a tweet on Wednesday after news of the agreement sent Ghanaian social and regular media ablaze. He warned government not to go ahead with the agreement especially sensing the mood of Ghanaians regarding the matter.

“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.

The Government of Ghana, according to a leaked document, has approved an 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.

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.

 

“The Agreement to build US military bases in Ghana has been laid before parliament and subsequently referred to the Committees on Defence and Interior and Constitutional & Legal for consideration and report to the House. Lobby your MP to reject it. It’s not in the interest of Ghana”.

The agreement has met with considerable pushback from many facets of society. Former Vice President of the University of Ghana Prof. Akilakpa Sawyerr,  also warned against the move. MP for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak has also signaled giving it a hard time when it goes to parliament for final adoption. In a Facebook post, he wrote:

“The Agreement to build US military bases in Ghana has been laid before parliament and subsequently referred to the Committees on Defence and Interior and Constitutional & Legal for consideration and report to the House. Lobby your MP to reject it. It’s not in the interest of Ghana”.

 

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