The erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration took away every document covering previous Defence Cooperation Agreements signed between the United States and Ghana before leaving government, a Deputy Minister under the current administration has alleged.
“Such an international agreement, we cannot find a single document which can enable us to make informed decisions”, Deputy Minister of Defence, Major (rtd) Derrick Oduro claims.
“We were unable to trace a single document about the whole deal”, he revealed on Kumasi-based Bohye FM morning show monitored by MyNewsGh.com’s Regional Correspondent.
“Maybe and I cannot tell too whether they chewed them, burnt them or threw them away, this current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government cannot tell”, the lawmaker the NPP lawmaker for Nkronza North fumed in a telephone interview
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Thursday In a televised address in relation to the controversial deal disclosed that the country entered into a Co-operation Agreement with the United States of America, in 1998, 2000, and under the government of his predecessors in 2015 and in all these the latter never violated any provision.
According to him, Ghana has built a formidable reputation for its contribution to peace-keeping around the world although these peace-keeping operations have always been under the aegis of the United Nations.
“No one doubts the fact that they have been made possible by the contributions largely of the United States of America. The Co-operation Agreement, which has subsisted, which we have approved, can only enhance the global effort to preserve the peace in our region. It is important also to state that the conditions of the Agreement mirror closely the conditions under which Ghana participates in peace-keeping operations under the United Nations. When our troops go on most peacekeeping duties, they do not carry their national passports, they carry their military identity”, he stressed.
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.