General News of Friday, 13 April 2018
A senior research fellow with the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA), Dr. Ken Ahorsu has revealed that the government under former President John Agyekum Kufour made plans during its administration to establish a military base in Ghana.
According to him, a top military officer from the United States visited the then President Kufour to have talks regarding the establishment of a base following the establishment of an embassy to represent the US in Ghana.
“In 2007, when the Kufour government was in power, a US General called T. Hobbins had actually come and discussed the establishment of a base in Ghana and all these was agreed upon that eventually….the initial plan was the building of the embassy and then the base will follow”, he mentioned.
His revelation comes days after earlier information that the National Democratic Congress (NDC), prior to the 2018 US-Military agreement, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under President John Evans Atta Mills with the United States government to establish a regional training base for law enforcement and criminal justice organization in Ghana.
Per information from the Daily Guide Newspaper, Ghana and the US, as well as other international organisations were to implement a regional training base that would focus on combating transnational crime and build criminal justice sector capacity in the member states of the Economic Community of West African States.
The agreement which was signed by Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, then National Security Coordinator and Donald G. Teitelbaum, then US Ambassador to Ghana, the US government (USG) ion July 5, 2012 also exempted “all equipment, material, and articles that may be imported for use in implementing the programme of all customs duties and taxes concerning their entry into Ghana, in accordance with current national legislation within the framework of non-reimbursable international technical cooperation.”
Interestingly, the MoU also granted “the issuance of temporary official visas at no cost that may be required for instructors, consultants, advisers and students with the purpose of attending the regional training centre.”
Dr. Ahorsu was speaking at a public forum organized by the Ghana First Patriotic Front as part of activities to intensify pressure on government to withdraw the Ghana-US Military Cooperation Agreement.
He also revealed at the forum how Kufour’s sucessor, Atta Mills was also written to subsequently by Former Executive Director and Founder of Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere Darko and urged to consider the establishment of a US military base in Ghana considering the country’s oil status at the time and how much Ghana stood to gain as a result.
“I wanted to share an article written by Gabby Otchere-Darko and it was written specifically for President Mills, which was urging President Mills that Ghana has oil status, the U.S wants a base and that Ghana has to strategize and bring in the US to have a base here so that we can become a strategic country and a stable country”
The International Relations expert, among other things warned of sour relations between Ghana and its neighbors in the West African sub-region if government proceeds with the signing of US-military deal.
The Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy said the deal will conflict with existing security arrangements between the country and its sub-regional counterparts to have joint standby military forces.