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Disagreement Kwesi Pratt, Defense Minister in near-fight over US military base in Ghana

The agreement will permit the US military to use Ghana as a base for staging and deploying forces.

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Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt and Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul play

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt and Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt clashed with the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul over an agreement for a US military base in Ghana.

The two, were engaged in a strong exchange of words with Kwesi Pratt accusing the Minister of being economical with the truth.

Dominic Nitiwul has categorically denied that the cabinet has approved an agreement.

A memo sighted by various media houses on an agreement by cabinet to allow the US to establish a military base in the country is expected to be tabled before Parliament.

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt play

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt

 

The agreement grants the US Military unfettered access to "a host of Ghanaian facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions."

In the agreement, it's been reported that the US will have unrestricted access to a host of Ghanaian facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military.

The agreement will permit the US military to use Ghana as a base for staging and deploying forces.

The deal is said to have been on cabinet's agenda for the past 8 months, however, they only approved it on March 8.

READ ALSO: The US military has 'turned a corner' on Russia — but there are still 2 big threats

The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul is quoted in the memo advising cabinet to sanction the agreement because the  Ghanaian military will benefit in trainings and logistics.

According to the agreement, Ghana will provide unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to the U.S. forces and Contractors.

It also allows U.S. forces and their Contractors to undertake construction activities on and make alterations and improvements to agreed facilities and areas.

play Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul

 

The US forces are also authorised to control entry to the facilities meant for the exclusive use of their forces.

READ ALSO: US troops in Syria prepare for more Russian attacks after crushing up to 300 mercenaries in February battle

The agreement also states that "aircraft, vehicles and vessels operated by or at the time, exclusively for the United States Forces may enter exit and move freely within the territory and territorial waters of Ghana."

The U.S. Forces can also use Ghana’s radio spectrum free of charge.

But Kwesi Pratt said "That is a source of worry" adding that the whole agreement "is a surrender of our sovereignty."

He said the agreement was disappointing and most unfortunate.

Dominic Nitiwul in rebuttal said questioned the integrity of Kwesi Pratt indicating that if he [Pratt] had read well enough, he would know Ghana is not the only country the US is partnering with in this regard.

READ ALSO: Minister of Defence denies US military base in Ghana reports

He revealed that it began with Senegal as the first African country and now Ghana.

He disputed Mr Pratt's claim about "surrendering sovereignty" with the fact that the US Military operations in Ghana will be limited to only the Airport.

"This agreement is not the first time" and that similar ones were agreed between the countries in 1997 and 2007. And it is going to Parliament because any foreign agreement must go to Parliament, besides requests for tax waivers can only be granted by Parliament.

"I have no authority to grant tax waivers," he said, explaining that the partnership is strategic as it seeks to strengthen Ghanaian forces and defences particularly in this era of terrorism and terror attacks.

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