“Ghana First:” the U.S. military deal leads thousands to protest

ACCRA, Ghana – Rally behind the slogan of “Ghana First,” thousands of people in the West African country protesting a new defence cooperation deal with the United States, with many in the old AMERICAN ally, to say that they make of the extensive military presence could attract extremists and the damage that their country’s sovereignty.

The demonstrations are a signal of dissatisfaction in Africa with the Trump of administration as the counterterror efforts on the continent to grow.

Hundreds of opposition groups organized by the Ghana First Patriotic Front marched in the streets of the capital, Accra, on Wednesday, the wearing of signs that said: “Our future is at stake” and “Ghana is not for sale.” They vowed to continue protests until President Nana Akufo-Addo of the government listening to their concerns about giving the US too much control in their own country.

The defense agreement is ratified by the ghanaian Parliament last week, and boycotted by the opposition legislators, the U.S. military unrestricted access to facilities, including Ghana, the runways and the state of the US to deploy forces there. The agreement also gives the U.S. access to the Ghana-stations and the U.S. in order to her own telecommunications system.

In exchange, the U.S. will contribute about $20 million to Ghana for military training and equipment.

The approval in the Parliament, out loud, including rumors about a possible AMERICAN military base.

“The entire concept undermines our sovereignty,” lawmaker Ras Mubarak told The Associated Press. “Everywhere where the US has built bases in Africa, there are terrorist attacks. It is a major threat to the security of Ghana and we must oppose it.”

The U.S. Embassy in a statement called such statements misleading.

“The United States has not requested, not even planning to request the establishment of a military base in Ghana or the permanent presence of US forces in Ghana,” the embassy said. The US military has only one permanent base in Africa, in the small Horn of Africa country of Djibouti.

On Thursday, the U.S. ambassador, Robert Jackson, tried to reassure Ghanaians that the agreement is not much different from those signed with other countries around the world.

“This agreement, not to sell the sovereignty of Ghana or the endangering of the security of Ghana. We have nothing to hide,” the ambassador told reporters.

The Trumpet administration of the press to fight the growing extremism in Africa drew worldwide attention last year, when the four AMERICAN soldiers were killed by Islamic extremists in other West-African country of Niger. Their death led many in Washington to ask why the US was there in the first place — and how many AMERICAN soldiers are now being rolled out across the continent.

The growing US military presence in Africa also includes the construction of a drone base in Niger, and dozens of drone strikes against extremists in Somalia, where the number of U.S. military personnel grew strongly last year to more than 500.

At the same time, President Donald Trump has shocked many across Africa with his reported comments about the continent, including a vulgar one early this year. Ghana’s president replied: “We will not accept such insults, even of a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful.”

Trump later sent his foreign minister to several African countries in an attempt to make the man — but then fired Rex Tillerson via Twitter just a few hours after his visit was over.

The developments have a lot in Africa, be wary of the Trump administration, which has also been criticized for seeking deep cuts in foreign aid and give the impression of U.S. neglect of the world, is the second most populous continent.

There is no need for Ghana to walk back to servitude,” an opposition figure, Koku Anyidoho, said last week the new US defense cooperation deal.

One of the protesters this week, George Aryettey, said he traveled during the night to attend the demonstrations and said that he was proud to be there for his country.

“I wanted to be a part of the people who fight for the independence of the country,” he said.


Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal.


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