Minister for Defence Mr Dominic Nitiwul has revealed that Senegal is currently a ‘beneficiary’ of the US government military program and Ghana is only the second African country to sign the agreement with the US following after Senegal.
“These things are not new. Senegal is the first in Africa to sign it with US. We are only second. We signed in 1998. The only difference is that I said let’s take it to parliament this time around because of the tax waiver component which is not in my power,” he said.
He also revealed that the defence agreement between Ghana and the United States government is necessitated by the fact that “Ghana and the United States have reached a New Realm” in our relationship.
Speaking on Joy FM Tuesday in an interview monitored by MYNEWSGH.com, the Minister said it was necessary that Ghana is able to reach the agreement as there were enormous benefits that could accrue to Ghana in the agreement.
“Ghana’s relationship with the United States of America has entered a New Realm”, he revealed.
He also used the opportunity to re-echo the fact that the agreement is not for the establishment of a US Military base in Ghana.
“I want to state very clearly that the US are not building a base. They have asked to use some of our facilities at the Airport. Full stop. We don’t set up militaries base at the Airport”, he said.
MYNEWSGH.com yesterday dawn broke the news about an agreement headed to parliament on the establishment of a US Military base in Ghana.
According to the document first intercepted by MYNEWSGH.com, the US military will use Ghana as a base to deploy its soldiers and will “possess and carry arms in Ghana, while on duty if authorized to do so, by their orders, such authorization being made in consultation with the appropriate authorities of Ghana. Military personnel may wear their uniforms while performing official duties.”
According to the document, “United States Contractors shall not be liable to pay tax or similar charge assess within Ghana in connection with this agreement”. The US military is also authorized to control entry to the facilities meant for the exclusive use of their forces.
“This Agreement sets forth a framework for enhanced partnership and security cooperation between the Parties with the aims of strengthening their defence relationship further and addressing shared security challenges in the region, including those relating to the protection of Government personnel and facilities.
“This Agreement clarifies access to and use of agreed facilities and areas by United States forces, thereby facilitating training, including to maintain unit readiness, combined exercises, and other military engagement opportunities.