Pan African calls for non-implementation of Ghana-US Defence Pact

Mr Anthony Appiah-King, a former Ghanaian resident in Japan, is calling on the Government not to implement Ghana-US Defence Cooperation which Parliament approved last week.

Mr Appiah-King, a Pan African, also known in music circles Black Amber, reacting to the ratification of the agreement, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kasoa on Tuesday, queried the basis of the agreement.

He said angrily: Are we going back to colonialization?  “Are our Armed Forces, praised throughout the world, not competent?”

There was much heat both in, and outside the House, in the events leading to, and after the approval of the cooperation agreement which seeks to provide the United States access into the country to camp its military forces.

The 2018 Defence Cooperation agreement, which was ratified by a Majority-only Parliament last week will permit the U.S. Military to use Ghana as a base for staging and deploying forces, and also gives the US military unfettered access to certain key national installations including the country’s radio spectrum.

The deal also allows for military training activities between the armies of the two countries.

Ghana is expected to earn some $20 million annually as part of the agreement.

The Minority staged a walkout during the debate on the Floor of the House, and the approval was done by only Majority Members of Parliament.

Mr Appiah-King, who said he travelled to about 30 countries and lived in Japan for almost a decade, recalled that in places like Okinawa, Zama and Yokohama where there were some of these military bases, women had suffered sexual abuse, including rape from some of the marines of the United States of America (USA).

“And the more worrying is that these US forces were not tried by the Japanese Government, but rather court-marshalled”.

He also wondered if apart from generals, other members of the Ghanaian military would be allowed in the base in Ghana.

Mr Appiah-King praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on leading the industrialisation drive of Ghana, but wondered if Ghana’s sovereignty in the Defence deal with the USA was not being bargained for buying power in Ghana’s economy.

“Yes, the US will bring money and train or Armed Forces, but won’t the base infringe on the liberties of our people? Our military understand the Ghanaian way of life, but will the Americans do the same?”

Mr Appiah-King took the US Government to task and asked if President Donald Trump was really willing to send the men of his Armed Forces into a country in a continent he had described as “shithole.”

On the argument that a similar pact was ratified by the Government, when the Minority National Democratic Congress was in power in 1998, Mr Appiah-King said, the implementation was not carried out.

He queried the loyalty issues when the pact was implemented, adding that in the event that the pact is implemented, there must be a thorough screening and checks on the marines allowed to operate in the base to be established in Ghana.

Mr Appiah-King said, he had no hatred for Americans, but stressed that the security of the Ghanaian, especially women and other vulnerable should be protected.

The issue should also be looked at devoid of partisanship, he added.

Meanwhile, the NDC together with other civil society groups, interest groups and Ghanaians displeased with the pact embarked on a demonstration to kick against the ratified military agreement entered into by government of Ghana, calling on the Government not to implement the pact.

The demonstrators began the protests from the former Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, holding placards bearing inscriptions that indicated their disapproval of the deal.

Also, Mr Brogya Gyenfi, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has filed an application at the Supreme Court challenging the Parliamentary ratification of the Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement.

Among other things, he is seeking a declaration from the court that the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul erred in law by laying before Parliament an un-executed draft agreement.

GNA

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