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Deployment of UK Special Forces to Ghana is false – Government refutes Telegraph report

Mali Soldiers Anti-terrorism troops | File photo

Wed, 23 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has reacted to a report by the UK Telegraph suggesting that Britain was set to deploy troops to Ghana, from its shut down operations in Mali.

The report as sighted by GhanaWeb cited a recent visit by British ministers to Accra as being part of moves to hammer out the new security agreement "which will position Ghana and by extension Burkina Faso as the new frontline against terrorism."

It continued in part: "It is unclear if the move is a face-saving operation in the wake of the mission in Mali being shut down or something more significant as British forces already train troops in Ghana."

The Foreign Affairs Ministry's November 22 statement, however, denied that there were any such plans.

"The Government of Ghana has no interactions with the UK Government aimed at deploying UK soldiers to Ghana for purposes of operations as described in the story.

"The Government of Ghana wishes to state that the information regarding British special forces is false," the statement read in part.

It also explained the purpose of the visit by the UK Minister for Armed Forces to Accra as part of the regional security summit called the 'Accra Initiative.'

"The Initiative aims to prevent a spill over of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organized crime within the common border areas of member states. The initiative is to further exchange intelligence, build capacity and undertake military action against terrorist forces in the Sahel that threaten coastal west Africa. The Accra Initiative is an African-led, African-executed initiative which would depend solely on the armed forces of its member

states.

"The presence of the UK Minister for the Armed Forces in Accra, was to participate in the Accra Initiative Conference on 21st and 22nd November 2022," it further clarified.

The statement also called on peddlers of fake news and misinformation on the issue to desist from doing so but to rather support efforts at ensuring durable security against terrorist threats.

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Read the full statement below:

REPUBLIC OF GHANA

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION

PRESS RELEASE

THE GOVERNMENT OF GHANA REFUTES STORY ON UK SPECIAL FORCES FOR GHANA


ACCRA, 22 NOVEMBER, 2022 - The attention of the Government of Ghana has been drawn to a news item by “the Telegraph” which was carried by the Ghanaweb on 22nd November, 2022, captioned “British soldiers expected in Ghana after withdrawal from Mali”.

The story by “The Telegraph” which was authored by Will Brown their Africa correspondent, stated that the British Government had taken a decision to send 300 special forces units to Ghana to support the Accra Initiative.

The Government of Ghana has no interactions with the UK Government aimed at deploying UK soldiers to Ghana for purposes of operations as described in the story.

The Accra Initiative (AI) is a cooperative and collaborative security mechanism, launched in 2017 under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO with his colleagues from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo. The current members of the Initiative are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Mali, and Niger.

The Initiative aims to prevent a spill over of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organized crime within the common border areas of member states. The initiative is to further exchange intelligence, build capacity and undertake military action against terrorist forces in the Sahel that threaten coastal west Africa. The Accra Initiative is an African-led, African-executed initiative which would depend solely on the armed forces of its member

states.

The presence of the UK Minister for the Armed Forces in Accra, was to participate in the Accra Initiative Conference on 21st and 22nd November 2022.

The Government of Ghana wishes to state that the information regarding British special forces is false. Neither Ghana nor any other member of the Accra Initiative has discussed with any partner, any such request nor contemplated the involvement of foreign forces in any of their activities.

It is noted that some persons on social media have already leapt on the back of the false news item to spread vile accusations against the Ghana Government. We urge all patriotic Africans, including Ghanaian patriots, to not fall into the trap of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news that are intended to divide our societies and undermine our unity of purpose.

While the member states of the Initiative appreciate the partnerships they share with the international community, either on an individual basis or collectively, the kinds of support envisaged under the Accra Initiative will not extend to the involvement of foreign troops.

Indeed, the British Minister for the Armed Forces, Rt Hon James Heappey, clarified the position today in an interview he granted the BBC World Service.

TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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