US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, has explained that US troops expected to be stationed in Ghana will not be based permanently in the country.
Although he failed to categorically mention the timelines for the departure of the troops, he said, “once the [military] exercise is over, the Americans will leave.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”yn6elNI1iVk76mcNOrlh36aQUdufPEjf”]Many Ghanaians are crying foul over an agreement between the Government of Ghana and the American government for some facilities in the country to be given to US troops to conduct various defence exercises including training Ghanaian military personnel.
As part of the agreement which the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has laid before Parliament for approval, the US military will be exempted from paying taxes on equipment they will bring to Ghana.
They will also be allowed to set up a telecommunication system on Ghana’s radio spectrum for free.
Ghanaian authorities will also be restricted from accessing the facilities given to the US officials when they begin using them.
With some suggesting that signing the agreement will mean ceding Ghana’s sovereignty to America, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said the presence of the troops must not be seen as an invasion.
“We are going to have three major exercises including one on counter-terrorism exercise. Will bring “a few hundred Americans and several hundred troops from Ghana’s neighbors together with the Ghana Armed Forces so that they learn to work more effectively together… For each exercise, we are looking at up to 200 Americans. This is not an invasion,” he added.
While insisting that Ghana will gain significantly from the activities of the US troops in the country, he said, “20 million dollars being invested in the Ghanaian Armed Forces in one year  is a pretty significant return.”
Rawlings against the move
Former President of Ghana and ex-military leader, Jerry John Rawlings, has joined the many other stakeholders to kick against plans of the government to proceed with the agreement.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Rawlings, who has so far been very supportive of actions of the Akufo-Addo government said Ghanaians are not ready to live with the troops.
“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,” said.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have also indicated their strong resentment for the move, noting that an approval will open Ghana up for terror.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana