It has emerged that the Government of Ghana has sent to Parliament for ratification, a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation between Ghana and the United States, that will 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 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.
Details of 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.
Gitmo 2 row
This comes on the back of the camping of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, Umar Bin Atef and Khalid Al-Dhuby in Ghana; a decision taken by the previous Mahama administration that was widely criticized by individuals and groups including the then New Patriotic Party [NPP] in opposition.
Although the agreement for hosting the two elapsed on January 6, 2018, it later emerged that the former detainees have been given refugee status.
The US government subsequently said they ceased taking responsibility for the two after the agreement ended.