The Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul, has said the proposed site to camp US military forces in Ghana will be close to Ghana’s premier Airport, Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
This he said is because the military personnel as well as civilians “will not be stationed here.”
“Soldiers who will be operating here are less than 200, and they will not be stationed here, they will come and go. It’s not a military base. We don’t even have enough space in the agreed area for them to put up big structures. It’s just around the airport area,” he said in a Citi News interview on Tuesday.The Minister was speaking after government laid in Parliament for ratification, a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation between Ghana and the United States, to give the Americans some space in the country to set up a camp for its military forces.
The document, sighted by citifmonline.com, said Cabinet approved the MoU on March 8, 2018, and recommended that Parliament ratify the agreement to allow the US forces and their equipment unhindered access in Ghana.
In the agreement, the US military force will among other things, be exempted from paying tax on equipment to be brought into Ghana and will also be given the chance to use Ghana’s radio spectrum free of charge.
Although Parliament is yet to approve the agreement, many have raised concerns over the decision, questioning why the government will assent to it.
But the Minister after laying the document on the Floor of Parliament today [Tuesday], March 20, 2018, said the move is in the best interest of the country.
He also explained that the camp will not serve as a military base, adding that government spent a lot of time scrutinizing the document before approving it.
“This agreement has been in my office for eight months. I have been dealing with them trying to correct it and make sure it is something Ghanaians can accept. At a point, they [US team] have to even come down [to Ghana] with an eleven member team to be able to explain to us. We also sent an eleven member team. We went through it clause by clause. After we felt that we were satisfied, we sent it to Cabinet. It stayed in Cabinet for two months before it was approved. Nobody has signed any secret agreement,” he added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana