The United States of America has dismissed reports that it is building a military base in Ghana.
A statement by the US Embassy in Ghana said: “the United States has not requested, nor does it plan to establish a military base or bases in Ghana.”
The statement comes after a leaked document revealed that the Government of Ghana has approved an agreement with the US to set up a military base in Ghana and also allow unrestricted access to a host of facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military.
Per the agreement, “all existing buildings, non-relocatable structures, and assemblies affixed to the land in agreed facilities and areas, including ones altered or improved by United States forces, remain the property of Ghana. Buildings constructed by United States forces shall become the property of Ghana, once constructed, but shall be used by United States forces until no longer needed by United States forces.
“United States forces shall return as the sole and unencumbered property of Ghana any agreed facility or area, or any portion thereof, including non-relocatable structures and assemblies constructed by United States forces, once no longer needed by United States forces. The Parties or their Executive Agents shall consult regarding the terms of return of any agreed facility or area, including possible compensation for improvements or construction.
“United States forces and United States contractors shall retain title to all equipment, material, supplies, relocatable structures, and other moveable property that have been imported into or acquired within the territory of Ghanaian connection with this Agreement,” Article 6 of the agreement reads.
“United States forces are hereby authorized to preposition and store defense equipment, supplies, and material (hereinafter referred to as prepositioned materiel) at agreed facilities and areas. The prepositioned materiel of United States forces and the agreed facilities and areas or portions thereof designated for storage of such prepositioned materiel shall be for the exclusive use of United States forces. United States forces shall retain title to and control over the use of prepositioned material and shall have the right to remove such items from the territory of Ghana,” Article 7 added.
“Ghana recognizes that it may be necessary for United States forces to use the radio spectrum. United States forces shall be allowed to operate its’ own telecommunication systems (as telecommunication is defined in the 1992 Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union). This shall include the right to utilize such means and services as required to ensure full ability to operate telecommunication systems, and the right to use all necessary radio spectrum for this purpose. Use of the radio spectrum shall be free of cost to United States forces.”
But according to the US, “the current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana is approximately 20 years old. It does not cover the current range and volume of bilateral exercises and assistance.”
The statement adds that “this year, the United States of America is investing over $20 million in training and equipment for the Ghanaian armed forces. Ghana is also once again preparing to train U.S. forces – as it did in 2017.
“The United States and Ghana are planning joint security exercises in 2018, which require access to Ghanaian bases by U.S. participants and those from other nations when included.”
The US Embassy added that all further questions should be referred to the government of Ghana.