Akufo-Addo’s address on military agreement was hard but timely, important – Rawlings

Source: Ghana | George Nyavor | george.nyavor@myjoyonline.com
Date: 7th-april-2018 Time:  7:19:08 am

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Former President John Rawlings has said although last Thursday’s televised address by President Akufo-Addo on the Ghana-U.S. military deal was hard “it was important and timely”.

The former President had cautioned against the 2018 Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) that will allow the US military troops an unfettered access to facilities in Ghana. 

He said although Ghanaians may have love for Americans, they will not be happy to have “foreign troops on such a scale” living among them.

The former President was not the only one concerned about a purported negative national security implication of the agreement. 

Related: Ghana-US agreement: Public discourse was unnecessary – Retired colonel

Some commentators have suggested that some provisions in the deal infringe on Ghana's sovereignty.

On Thursday Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the nation on the controversial deal, assuring Ghanaians that the agreement does not include the setting up of a military base in Ghana.

Fears of a military base in Ghana by the Americans had also been one of the concerns raised by many about the agreement.

However, in a Twitter post on Friday, Mr Rawlings suggests he is relieved to hear that the agreement will not come with the setting up of a base.

“That was my major concern in my initial reaction to news of the agreement. The spirit of cooperation, be it military or diplomatic has always been there,” the former President said.

He also admonished that “if there are details of the agreement that warrant a second look, such details should be examined to create comfort for all sides.”

Rawlings-DCA-Twitter

Meanwhile, following the President’s strongly-worded address on Thursday an interparty coalition has promised widespread demonstrations across the country to oppose the deal.

Already a mammoth demonstration in Accra has been held over the agreement. 

A spokesperson for the coalition and Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, said on Friday at a press conference the president did not address the substantive issues during his televised address.

Related: Ghana-US military deal: ‘Regional demonstrations’ in the offing

The President's address

President Akufo-Addo on Thursday condemned what he says is the “unspeakable hypocrisy” that has attended the consideration and ratification of the 2018 Ghana-US military cooperation agreement.

In a televised broadcast to break his long silence on the matter, the President said some front-line politicians are wallowing in the “largesse of the US and at the same time promoting anti-American sentiment to a populist constituency.”

Such persons he said are “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds” in a matter that has left the country divided.

In the heat of the controversy and the mammoth demonstrations over the matter, the President said he was confronted by an unnamed friend who suggested he could easily have avoided the hazards of democracy by following his predecessor president, who decided to sign in secret earlier agreements with the US.

Controversial deal

The enhanced military cooperation agreement with the US has been met with fierce public outcry as many Ghanaians point to its possibility to endanger Ghana’s security.

At least one security analyst has suggested that enemies of the superpower may strike Ghana with the presence of American soldiers on Ghanaian soil, but both the American embassy in Ghana and the government have taken pains to dispel that concern.

Moreover, some clauses in the agreement including an unimpeded access to some agreed facilities by the US military have left the country thoroughly divided.

The Minority walked out of Parliament before the deal was ratified by a one-sided House.

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