Friday, April 6, 2018 10:51 am
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has defended his government’s approval of expanded military cooperation with the U.S., saying that it would enhance peace efforts in West Africa.
Akufo-Addo said the deal, which was approved by parliament in March and allows for the deployment of U.S troops
and their military equipment in Ghana, was in line with previous international pacts and did not constitute an
offer to Washington to establish a military base.
Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote after failing to block its approval, leaving members of the ruling party
to ratify it.
“It is our firm belief that the agreement will help enhance our defence capability, and offer an important layer
of support in our common effort to protect the peace in our region,” Akufo-Addo said in a televised speech.
It was his first comment on a deal widely criticised by Ghanaians, including civil society groups and minor
Thousands of Ghanaians last week protested in the capital Accra against the agreement, in a rare public display
of opposition to a growing foreign military presence in West Africa.
The deal will also allow U.S troops to use an airport runway that meets U.S. standards, and have free access to
Ghana’s radio spectrum.
In return, the U. S. will invest 20 million dollars in equipment and the training of Ghanaian troops.
Akufo-Addo rejected assertions by critics that the deal would allow the U. S. to establish a military base in
“So let me state with the clearest affirmation that Ghana has not offered a military base, and will not offer
a military base to the U. S. of America,” he said.
“Indeed, the U.S. has not made any request for such consideration and, consistent with our established foreign
policy, we will not consider any such request,” he added. (Reuters/NAN)