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I never saw 2015 US-Ghana military pact - former deputy Interior minister

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The government has been advised not to rope in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in its attempt to rationalise a controversial US-Ghana military cooperation agreement before Parliament.

The agreement has been criticised as a neo-colonial attempt to buy Ghana's sovereignty for $20 million.

Pushing back the backlash, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has said critics who believe Ghana is being sold off should blame the NDC because they signed similar agreements.

"Two years ago, Hanna Tetteh sold us, not us. In 1998, they sold us,” Mr. Nitiwul said at a news conference Wednesday.

But former Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga has chided Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, explaining that the 2018 agreement before parliament is a fresh opportunity for the Akufo-Addo government to defend the country's sovereignty.

He said on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Thursday, the agreement signed in 2015 under the Mahama administration has expired.

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The suggestion that Ghana is bound to go into the current agreement, therefore, cannot be true, he pointed out after referring to the memo on the agreement asking for a renewal of military cooperation.

"Is there a provision ...which binds us to renew the so-called agreement at all cost upon expiration? My answer is a big no," he said.

A controversial aspect of the agreement is article 5.1 which requires Ghana provides "...unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to United State forces, United States contractors, and others as mutually agreed."

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"Such agreed facilities and area: or portions thereof, provided by Ghana shall be designated as either for exclusive use by United 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," the agreement noted.

But Deputy Interior Minister James Agalga also rejected government's claim that the 2015 agreement is similar to the 2018 deal yet to be approved by Parliament.

"This particular article does not find a position in the earlier agreements we have had with the United States," he argued.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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