The parliament of Ghana has received the controversial defence agreement between Ghana and the United States governments that would allow the US to establish a military base in the country.
The agreement was tabled before parliament for consideration and approval on Tuesday, March 20 in line with Article 181(5) of the 1992 constitution, which requires parliamentary approval in respect of “international business transactions” to which the state of Ghana is a party.
The agreement was laid before parliament by Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul who had earlier denied claims that the agreement seeks to grant the US the right to establish a military base in Ghana.
“The agreement is made and is referred to the committee on Defence and Interior,” Speaker Mike Ocquaye announced when it was laid before the House Tuesday morning.
The military contract between Ghana and the US, essentially gives U.S military forces unfettered access to some Ghanaian resources.
Among other things, Article 5.1 of the contract says:
1. Ghana hereby provides unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to United State forces, United States contractors, and others as mutually agreed. Such agreed facilities and area: or portions thereof, provided by Ghana shall be designated as either for exclusive use by Unite States forces or to be jointly used by United States forces and Ghana. Ghana shall also provide access to and use of a runway that meets the requirements of United States forces.
2. United States forces are hereby authorised to exercise all rights and authorities that are necessary for the use, operation, defense, or control of agreed facilities and areas, including taking appropriate measures to protect United States forces. United States forces intend to coordinate such measures with the appropriate authorities of Ghana.
3. United States forces and United States contractors may undertake construction activities on, ant make alterations and improvements to, agreed facilities and areas. United States forces may carry out construction works and other services with military personnel and civilian personnel.
4. United States forces are hereby authorized to control entry to agreed facilities and areas that having been provided for exclusive use by United States forces, and to coordinate entry with the authorities of Ghana at agreed facilities and areas provided for joint use by United States force and Ghana, for purposes of safety and security.
5. United States forces shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance, construction, and development costs of agreed facilities and areas provided for the exclusive use of United State: forces unless otherwise agreed. The Parties shall be responsible on the basis of their proportionate use for the operation and maintenance costs of agreed facilities and areas provided for joint use byUnited States forces and Ghana. Ghana shall furnish, without rental or similar costs to United States, all agreed facilities and areas, including those jointly used by United States forces and Ghana.
6. United States forces and United States contractors shall be afforded priority in access to and use agreed facilities and areas that have been provided for joint use whenever United States forces are conducting exercises or other activities in connection with this Agreement in Ghana. Access to and use of agreed facilities and areas by others may be authorized with the express consent a both Ghana and United States forces.
7. From time to time, representatives of the Executive Agents shall conduct joint inspections of agreed facilities and areas, for instance at the start and completion of each period during which United States forces are physically present at the agreed facilities and areas. Each inspection shall be documented by written report, prepared by representatives of the Executive Agents, an: including the date, time, names of inspectors, and conditions identified. Copies of the report shall be provided to each Executive Agent within seven-1days of the completion of each inspection.