General News of Friday, 23 March 2018
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert .P. Jackson has stated that the $20 million Ghana stands to benefit from the US military deal is a very significant return.
“20 million dollars being invested in the Ghanaian Armed Forces in one year is a pretty significant return,” Ambassador Jackson told Joy News in an interview.
Ambassador Jackson added that the deal does not amount to an invasion and once the military exercise is over, the American soldiers will return to their country.
According to him, there are just a few hundred soldiers coming to Ghana for the military exercise.
“We are going to have three major military exercises this year – navel exercise, judicious response and then United Accord a counter-terrorism/security exercise. These exercises bring a few hundred Americans and several hundred troops from Ghana’s neighbours together with the Ghanaian armed forces so that they can learn to work more effectively together.
“Once the exercise is over, the Americans will leave. There is no persistent presence and we have a very small group of military officers and soldiers at our embassy as defence attaché and security cooperation officers and they are the only US military who are in Ghana on a permanent basis. This is not an invasion,” Mr Jackson said.
His warning comes after the government through the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul stated that it cannot back out of the controversial military agreement despite massive public outcry and protests from the minority and Ghanaians.
The Minority in Parliament said it will proceed to the Supreme Court if the majority uses its numbers in Parliament to pass the controversial military pact.
The Government of Ghana, according to a leaked document, has approved the agreement with the US to set up a military base in Ghana and also allow unrestricted access to a host of facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military—a claim the government of Ghana and the US denied.
“We have sent notice that if the NPP uses their numbers to see this get a pass, we will head to the Supreme Court. We are clear in our mind that what is going on now is not in our interest as a nation.
“It is illegal. The Minority is going to oppose this. A lot of laws are being breached by this agreement,” warned the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Samuel Okudze Ablakwa on Morning Starr Thursday.