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Akufo-Addo to break silence on Ghana-US military agreement

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to break his silence on the controversial Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement that has left the nation deeply divided.

Information reaching indicates the president will hold a live TV and radio broadcast on the controversial matter later this week.

The president’s decision to speak to the matter was taken last week has learnt.

It is not clear yet what the president will say, even though critics, including the Minority, have called on the government to abrogate the agreement.

The defence agreement was ratified by Parliament two weeks ago. The Minority side of the House staged a walk-out.

The agreement is to reaffirm “the strong defense relationship between the parties based on a shared commitment to peace and stability and common approaches to addressing regional defense and security issues.”

It is also to “reaffirm the recent dialogue between the Presidents of the United States and Ghana on the importance of the bilateral defense relationship; and also “considering that, by arrangement between the United States and Ghana, United States forces may be present in Ghana in pursuit of common defense efforts, as well as to provide support to the security of United States Government personnel and facilities in the region.”

But the Minority is not impressed with the agreement. Some members of the Minority say the agreement will lead to the setting up of a US military base in Ghana, and subsequently lead to the selling of Ghana’s sovereignty.

Article 5 of that agreement gives the US military “unimpeded access” to facilities agreed on by the two countries.

This and some aspects of the agreement have become the subject of controversy with the Minority kicking against the agreement.

But the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul insists the details in the 2018 agreement are not entirely different from what was contained in the 1998 and 2015 agreements the then NDC government signed with the US.

A leaked document suggested the then president John Mahama gave approval for Ghana to be used as base for a US military operation that will protect “US citizens and facilities in the sub-region.”

That decision was taken in a meeting at the Flagstaff House on 4 September 2014.

Since the 2018 agreement was ratified, there has been a demonstration by a coalition of political parties as well as a section of Ghanaians who are not happy with the agreement.

The president is yet to speak on the matter. Sources close to the seat of government say the president will do that later this week and will hope to put the matter to rest.

Source: Ghana||Nathan Gadugah

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