Review Aspects of Ghana-US Deal – Yaw Oppong to Gov’t
A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong, has urged President Akufo-Addo to consider making amendments to some aspects of the controversial Ghana-US Defence cooperation agreement.
Though the President has defended the deal in a national address and assured there was no condition making provision for the US military base on Ghanaian soil, Mr. Oppong said there was still room for amendments.
Speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Oppong first suggested that President Akufo-Addo could commission a committee to give further scrutiny to the deal.
Former President Jerry Rawlings also asked the President to consider reviewing the deal saying: “if there are details of the agreement that warrant a second look, such details should be examined to create comfort for all sides.”
In line with this, Mr. Oppong also said, “at this point, the President can set up a committee to have a second look at this thing. There are provisions in it that can be amended or varied.”
He cited the privileges of privacy granted the US army and potential contractors who may operate on Ghanaian soil.
“For a provision like this, we can have a second look. There should be equal access or priority for both parties even beyond the expectations of the tenets of diplomacy,” Mr Oppong stated.
Mr. Oppong said the President need not even set up the committee to look into new amendments.
“When you go to article 17, they also establish a joint committee to oversee implementation of this agreement. That joint committee can still take up some of this. The agreement itself cannot come into force until some notes have been exchanged. In those notes, the President can even express some of these [concerns],” Mr. Oppong explained.
Key points from the address
President Akufo-Addo justified the deal saying the continuation of the agreement was necessary because of increased security threats in sub-region
He also said the US had not violated previous military cooperation agreements hence the extension and continuation of the contract will ensure that Ghana maintains its reputation for contributing to global peace-keeping and security.
Conditions of the agreement also mirror the requirements under which Ghana participates in UN peace-keeping operations, he added.
The opposition NDC which has been part of opposition parties protesting the agreement, have served notice they will continue to protest and educate Ghanaians to reject the agreement.
They have described the President’s address as disappointing, saying it was only used to attack political opponents for being critical of deal.