Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. General Obed B. Akwa, has downplayed concerns that the defence cooperation agreement between Ghana and the United States will expose the former to terror attacks.
The deal, which has been ratified by Ghana’s Parliament, gives the US military and its civilian personnel unfettered access to certain installations in Ghana, including tax wavers.
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other pressure groups including the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) have been part of a protest to withdraw the deal or revise it to safeguard the sovereignty of the West African nation.
A security analyst, David Agbe, reportedly warned that Ghana would see no peace in the event parliament ratified the agreement.
“I’ll state emphatically that if this agreement is ratified, Ghana will never know peace again,” he stated
The CDS, whose comments come in the wake of heightened rejection of the deal despite assurances from the United States Embassy in Ghana, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul and President Akufo-Addo, said the “US needs to find a balance between defence and diplomacy in its foreign policy to eliminate doubts in countries that they intend entering into a military cooperation with”.
Speaking at a round table organized by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Cape Coast on the topic—US Military Presence in Africa: Implication for National Security and Sovereignty, the CDS said Ghana and US have had defence cooperation for the past two decades without a blip.
According to him, the US military presence in Africa has been extremely beneficial to the continent, urging Ghanaians to be calm, as the government will not jeopardize the country’s security.
“The existing cooperation between the United States and African partner nations has led for example to excessive cooperative maritime security especially, in the Gulf of Aden, in the east coast and the Gulf of Guinea on the West of Coast Africa,” he said.
Additionally, he further pointed out “the United States Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism partnership and partnership of regional East African Counterterrorism have been instrumental in increasing the capacity of African security forces and the fight against terrorism.”
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH